Concert choirs and chamber singers assemble for collaboration

The American River College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers held a performance with guest appearances by the Sacramento City College Concert Choir and the Folsom High School Chamber Singers. Ralph Hughes conducted the ARC choral members with student Justin Vaughn having the opportunity to lead a song on his own.

During this concert, which brought together two Los Rios District choirs, Hughes and SCC conductor Daniel Paulson plugged next week’s Collegiate Sing, an intra-district concert featuring all four of the Los Rios community college choirs. That concert will take place March 25 at the SCC performing arts center theater.

ARC choir members opened the performance on the edges of the theater with a chanting cadence, then moved to their places on the stage. After the first song, Hughes introduced Vaughn who would then be conducting, making note of some of Vaughn’s choral accomplishments.

Choir members not immediately performing were seated in the house. During the first transition from the ARC choir to the SCC choir, Hughes commented that logistically they could play “musical chairs” and take the vacated SCC seats.

SCC took the stage wearing shirts promoting the “collegechoir” hashtag, the choir’s Twitter handle. Justin Vaughn joined the choir.

“Three of our tenors are out sick and so we printed out music and told Justin he would be sight-reading with us tonight,” Paulson said.

“You’re going to do great,” he said to Vaughn.

Accompanying the SCC choir was ARC alumna Mary Youngblood, who played a Native American flute. The entire set had a Native American theme and included some nature sound effects, wolf calls, and twittering birds to enhance the music.

Youngblood returned to the stage for an encore solo performance, showcasing her Grammy Award-winning talent.

Audience members from SCC and ARC agreed that the Folsom High School Chamber Singers, who performed next, had the best performance.

They sang a variety of music opening with an all-female body percussion piece involving stomps, claps, slaps and vocals and including a traditional Syrian-Iraqi song in Arabic.

The ARC Chamber Singers showcased their talent and ended the concert with a vocal piece involving percussion instruments played by chamber members.

Justin Hampel, who played a variation of the shaker called a shekere, has successfully auditioned into the chamber choir for two semesters. He commented that he was very happy with the concert.

“Folsom High in particular did really, really good,” said Hampel.

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