The Santa Clara Chorale joined singing forces with the choirs of Santa Clara University and the San Jose Chamber Orchestra in Orchestral Finale on May 17, at the historic Mission Santa Clara on the Santa Clara University campus. The Chorale’s season finale was, in a word, remarkable.
“The combination of voices and choirs was much more than I expected,” said an enthusiastic Kristina from of San Jose. “This was my first time attending one of the Chorale’s performances and I’m sorry I never attended before. I loved everything about it – the venue, the voices and the music. [Soprano] Shawnette’s [Sulker] voice – I was so captivated when she sang. All I can say is ‘Wow.’ Am I ever glad I was talked into going – what a great way to end the season.”
The concert marked the end of the 52nd year of the Chorale and the first season for the Chorale’s new Artistic Director, Dr. Scot Hanna-Weir. Even some pesky technical difficulties that delayed the beginning of the night’s performance weren’t enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the performers, or the enjoyment of the audience. But good fortune prevailed, and the technical problems that prevented the organ from playing initially were resolved. Shortly into the concert, the Mission Church was filled with the sound of music.
Saturday’s performance featured Fern Hill, John Corigliano’s contemporary setting of Dylan Thomas’ acclaimed poem. This was paired with the “Lord Nelson Mass” by Franz Joseph Haydn. Performing along with the choirs were Mezzo Soprano Soloist Jacque Wilson, Baritone Matthew Knickman, Soprano Shawnette Sulker, Tenor Ben Jones, and Auxiliary Soprano Soloist Sara Folchi.
The Chorale will perform an Encore Concert on Sunday, June 1 at 3 p.m. to revisit the highlights of the season as a benefit for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Santa Clara. For more information about the Santa Clara Chorale, visit www.scc.org.