The third annual California Catholic Collegiate Choral Festival, held this year at Santa Clara University (SCU) on Oct. 28, culminated in a 7:30 p.m. concert at Mission Santa Clara. The free concert featured the choirs of four California universities singing, individually and together, a range of classical and folk music, with piano accompaniment.
“I’m so thrilled that all of these choirs could come together. It’s an amazing growing experience,” said Dr. Scot Hanna-Weir, SCU Director of Choral Activities and co-founder of the festival in 2015. “It’s an all-auditioned choir—a giant auditioned choir, so they can work at a really high level.”
The participating choirs were the University of Santa Clara Chamber Singers, conducted by Hanna-Weir; Loyola Marymount University Consort Singers and Women’s Chamber Ensemble from Los Angeles, conducted by Dr. Mary Breden; Saint Mary’s College of California Chamber Singers and Glee Club from Moraga, conducted by Dr. Julie Ford; and the University of San Francisco Classical Choral Ensembles, conducted by Dr. Rebecca Seeman.
During the day, guest musician Dr. Kimberly Dunn Adams, Director of Choral Activities at Western Michigan University, conducted clinics with each ensemble. Then she rehearsed the more than 75 collegiate singers together for the concert finale selections, “Jubilate Deo” by Orlando de Lasso and “Music of the Living” by Dan Forrest.
“In any choral festival, the opportunity to work with different conductors enables us to grow as musicians,” said Adams, who attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin with Hanna-Weir. “Singers learn from each other, broadening their musical point of view.”
“It’s one thing to sing with your own choir, but when we sing with all the other choirs, it’s different. You have a bigger sound—a new dynamic to it. Everything has the potential to be more drastic,” said St. Mary’s College alto Mylan Blitz, a freshman from Fresno. Her parents drove from Fresno to attend the concert.
“The concert was wonderful—hearing the different pieces from the different groups, how they contrasted and their similarities,” said Hal Blitz. “Combined, it was wonderful.”
“We’re proud of all the kids studying and all the time they dedicate to singing,” said Lien Blitz.
“In this world of focus on sports and politics, it’s enlightening and refreshing to see these types of arts events being performed,” said Hal Blitz.