Spring Choral Concert interprets religious hymns

By Steven Adamo

Songs of a religious nature were sung Monday by the East Los Angeles College Choir and Chamber Chorale at the Spring Choral Concert. 

Presented by the ELAC Music Department, the conductor for the evening was Dr. Anthony Lupica. 

The ELAC Choir began the evening with “Go Down Moses,” which contains the famous line “let my people go!” 

The ELAC choir was positioned in a semi-circle around a single piano, played by Dr. Melissa Sky-Eagle.

After the first song was complete, conductor Dr. Anthony Lupica said to the crowd that the following two songs, were of Celtic origin. 

The first of the two songs was “The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” The ELAC Choir skillfully distributed harmonies of various pitches; without the use of microphones, the sound flowed nicely throughout the S2 Recital Hall.

The mood shifted to a more somber tone for the performance of “Be Thou My Vision,” arranged by Alice Parker. 

Half-way through the song, soprano Valerie Valdez slowly minimized her vocal contributions as she walked                               toward the front of the stage to deliver her solo.

The choir followed with a performance of “Thanks Be To Thee.” 

bel canto—Anthony Lupica, Ph.D., conducts the East Los Angeles College Choir as they sing “The King of Love My Sheperd Is” by Henry Baker. Melissa Sky-Eagle, Ph.D., accompanies them with the piano at the S2 Recital Hall. CN/stephanie guevara

Prior to the song, the conductor noted that it’s frequently played at graduations.

The ELAC Choir wrapped up their performance with “Shall We Gather at the River.” 

In the Spring Choral Concert program, Dr. Graham Raulerson said “You just might recognize this favorite U.S. American hymn from one of several Western films.” Some of those films include 1941’s “Tobacco Road,” 1966’s “7 Women,” and 1956’s “The Searchers.”

As the ELAC Chamber Chorale took the stage, their numbers doubled that of the ELAC Choir. Mimi Chun accompanied the Chamber Chorale with her flawless playing style. 

At one point in the evening, she wrestled with a sagging page from her songbook without faltering a note.The performance of “Adoramus Te, Christe” was the most musically different compared to the other performances. 

The ELAC Chamber Chorale did an excellent job at emitting a deep drone that slowly faded in and out as the higher-pitched vocals were delivered rapidly in time with the piano.

Conductor Lupica displayed excitement for the next trio of Felix Mendelssohn songs: “See What Love” (Saint Paul), “How Lovely Are the Messengers” and “He’s Watching Over Israel (Elijah).”

A stage arrangement occurred before the performance of “How Lovely Are the Messengers,” with the women on stage left and the men on stage right. The title is from a line from the Mendelssohn oratorio, “Paulus (St. Paul).” 

The score was originally written in German, but a portion of the English translation is: “The Nations are now the Lord’s, and Paul came to the congregation, now we are Ambassadors, how lovely are the messengers.”

Prior to the performance of “Hush! Somebody’s Callin’ My Name,” the Chamber Chorale shifted positions once again. 

During the transition, Lupica said “poor guy,” referring to a choir member who was on crutches           due to a motorcycle-related   injury.

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