Michelle Annett Roldan
As La Verne welcomes the holiday spirit, the University of La Verne’s Choral Organization hosted the “Caroling, Caroling!” concert Friday and Saturday at Morgan Auditorium.
Voice Studies Professor and Choir Instructor Ariel Pisturino led the choir in the first concert of the semester, and her first with this choir.
“I’m so proud of everyone, it went so well,” Pisturino said. “It seemed like everybody enjoyed it and had a good time, so that’s all I can ask for.”
The concerts featured both the University’s chamber choir and a chorale, bringing together lots of talented individuals.
“There’s the chamber choir, which is the more advanced group, and that’s capped at 16 students,” Pisturino said. “We have a chorale that anybody in the University or in the community can join. You don’t even have to be a student.”
Trayjan Jumawan, junior kinesiology major, was one of the people in the audience captivated by the singing from the choir. He was invited his friend, Zachary Grech, a sophomore music major.
“He gave me a flier earlier today and told me to come so I decided, why not come and support him,” Jumawan said. “I like when they sang ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ because I’m from Hawaii, so it’s kind of good to hear to hear them singing. I was singing along too.”
Grech said having his friends come out to support meant a lot to him.
“I’m really grateful because it shows that they care,” Grech said.
Another singer who had lots of people come out and support her on Friday was Brianna Avila, a junior biology major. Friends, co-workers and family all came together to see her perform an original solo song in the concert.
“The song is called ‘For Them’ and I wrote it after my grandpa passed away,” Brianna Avila said. “I wasn’t super feeling the Christmas spirit and so I was like there’s no sad songs about people who are missing people and it was what I wrote during 2020.”
Seeing her perform her original piece for a public audience for the first time was very endearing for her mother, Lisa Avila.
“It’s very meaningful, I’m very proud,” Lisa Avila said. “We try to go to all her performances.”
Brianna Avila practiced her solo for the whole semester since Pisturino assigned it to her. Pisturino had a hard time selecting the songs she wanted the choir to perform, but did not have such a hard time picking who could do a solo.
“I picked out the music and I was like, you’re doing this,” Pisturino said. “The key is to just be encouraging, and let them know I wouldn’t have assigned them something if I didn’t think they could do it. So I have faith in them.”
The choir members already have their eyes on future performances.
“I think it was great, obviously, you want to pack the auditorium. But I think people here on out, they’re going to start talking about us and we’re going to grow more concerts, and you’re going to see a difference in music,” Grech said. “Our director Ariel, she’s amazing. She’s helped us in so many ways, and she’s gonna make this music department very proud.”
Michelle Annett Roldan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.