The 45-voiced Columbia College Community Chorus with 25-piece orchestra, under the direction of John Carter, will present their annual Sounds of the Season Concerts Friday through Sunday, Dec. 6, 7, and 8 at the Historic Opera Hall at 250 S. Washington St., Sonora. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Music on the program will include selections from J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Christmas motets, seasonal favorites and audience carol sing-a-longs. Tickets are $10 presale ($12 at the door) and $5 age 12 and under. Tickets are available at Sonora Music, The Mountain Bookshop, Manzanita Bookstore, and Murphys Music. Tickets and information can also be had by calling 209-586-5965.
The concert is held in the historic Sonora Opera Hall which is decorated with white lights and Christmas Trees and designed to be an attractive addition to the concert’s music and the festiveness of the season. The concerts are always popular and advanced-purchased tickets are strongly advised.
The program features selections from Bach Christmas Oratorio. Written in 1734, the large work from which the chorus will be performing selections, features some of Bach’s most brilliant writing for chorus and orchestra. The orchestra features festive trumpets and a full complement of woodwinds including oboe, flute, bassoon and oboe d’amore – an instrument common in Bach’s day but rarely heard today.
Other program highlights include three audience sing-alongs of popular carols and seasonal songs. The concert closes a medley of carols arranged by Carter for chorus and orchestra and the Hallelujah chorus.
The Chorus, a class at Columbia College performs music of different styles and eras including major choral masterworks and shorter choral compositions.
In addition to their own concerts, the chorus has been active performing with and for regional musical organizations including the Symphony of the Sierra, the Mother Lode Youth Orchestra, the Sonora Bach Festival, and the Mariposa Community Chorus. They have also participated in the American Choral Directors Association State Community Chorus Festival, in A Festival of Singing with Mother Lode Area High School Choirs and in the Mother Lode Community Chorus Festival.
The chorus is open to interested community members who enjoy singing, read music and wish to dedicate the time to quality choral music and performance. Contact 588-5214 for more information regarding chorus membership.
John Carter has conducted the Columbia College Community Chorus since 1984 when he began full-time teaching at Columbia College where he also teaches vocal, theory and music history classes. In addition to his work with the Chorus, John has conducted a number of other groups including the Modesto Masterworks Chorus, the Modesto Symphony Chorus, church, school and community groups of all ages. He is a former Music Director of the Modesto Performing Arts Association and the Symphony of the Sierra. He has been active on the board of the California Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Sonora Bach Festival. He holds music degrees from Chapman University and Westminster Choir College and a Certificate in the Professional Studies Program in Vocal Performance from Temple University.