by Tom Chambers
Five members of the University of La Verne choir program returned from San Antonio, Texas, Sunday after participating in the 2001 National Multicultural Honor Choirs Concert. Two hundred students were chosen from a field of 800 nationwide to perform for the first ever American Choral Directors Association National Convention.
Seniors Kim Reed and Natalie Ganther, freshmen Alex Serena, junior Jasmine Effner and Carmen Trujillo were the recipients of the honor to attend the convention. To qualify for the multicultural choir, students had to submit a demo tape singing “America the Beautiful” and another song of their choice.
Following the multicultural theme, the honor choir sang Korean, Spanish Hebrew and other selections from the world. Multiculturalism is not a new concept to choir, but its celebration is. This convention, which is the first of its kind, is meant to open the doors to other cultures for students.
“Not a lot of people are exposed to different types of music. It’s amazing how music can teach people about other cultures,” said Trujillo.
In San Antonio, students went through choir boot camp, practicing seven hours a day for three days for their hour and a half concert. The rigorous training was necessary, as students had to learn pieces in other languages. Ganther, said she returned with a raspy voice, but with a positive attitude after the training.
Ganther is positive after her gospel solo which brought the crowd to its dancing feet and standing ovation. Choral director Shawn Kirchner said she “brought the house down.”
“Gospel singing is just what I do. I wasn’t nervous. It just comes natural for me,” said Ganther.
Reed, was extremely enthusiastic about participating in the concert.
“Being a part of the convention for my senior year has been really special for me. Multicultural music is so inspiring and interesting,” said Reed.
Students interested in seeing the ULV choir perform will have the opportunity at the choir’s spring concert, May 18. The theme and title of the concert is “The Dream of Peace,” which also celebrating multiculturalism.