The Los Banos High School choir performed George Fredric Handel’s “Messiah” with a semi-professional choral group Sunday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Handel’s “Messiah” has been part of the school’s winter concert since 1996.
The 24-member Cantare Con Vivo (To Sing With Life), an Oakland-based performing arts group, sang alongside Los Banos High teens and alumni during the school choir’s winter concert, which has been a tradition since 1996.
The concert attracted hundreds and was performed in Spanish and Portuguese.
David Morales, founder of Cantare Con Vivo, said his group received a James Irvine Foundation grant that pays for performances with students of Latino backgrounds in the Central Valley.
Morales said he chose to bring his 24-member group to Los Banos because Los Banos High music teacher Tom Faria has a good reputation in the choral community.
Faria’s students usually only perform 20 to 30 minutes of “Messiah” during the winter concert, but Sunday’s performance concentrated exclusively on the musical composition. “We’re doing choruses we normally don’t do, which is really difficult,” Faria said.
Alumni are asked to perform with the students each year.
This year Faria’s daughter, Ariana, received the surprise of her life after she finished singing in the bi-annual Messiah portion of the winter concert. After the crowd gave a standing ovation, one of the speakers came to the microphone and asked her to step to the front for a “special presentation.”
As she stepped forward, so did her boyfriend Jason George, who then promptly proposed. She said yes and the crowd cheered and applauded the newly engaged couple.