Westmont choir and local high schools work together to perform annual fall concert
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The Westmont choirs sang with a dozen high school choirs at First Presbyterian Church during an all-day festival on Friday.
It is the tenth year that Westmont has orchestrated this event, in an effort to bring their music to a larger community, and entice promising high school students to become part of the Westmont community.
The afternoon began with the arrival of the high schools, but preparation started long before.
Schools came prepared to sing pieces that suited their groups individually in addition to a specific song that all of the high schools and the members of Westmont’s College Choir performed together. The entire group chose “Sing unto God from ‘Judas Maccabeus’” by G.F. Handel.
When all the high schools arrived, they met at First Methodist Church for a smaller concert between the schools. Then, they all came to First Presbyterian Church for their second concert.
In this show, Westmont’s Men’s Chorale, New Sounds, and Women’s Chorale performed along with six high schools.
Finally, the festival ended the day with an evening concert at 7 p.m. During this show, Westmont’s Chamber Singers and the College Choir performed with the high school choirs.
Twelve choirs sang in addition to those from Westmont, including 10 high school choirs.
Westmont’s choirs cover an extensive set of highlights from the semester, hoping to inspire younger performers.
One of their selections was “Somebody Talkin’ ‘bout Jesus,” which the Chamber Singers awed the Westmont student body with during chapel last Wednesday.
President Gayle Beebe attended the evening concert, sitting in the back corner and humbly excusing himself just as the last song rang out in the sanctuary.
With extreme elegance and precision, Westmont choir members carried themselves to the stage, blowing the room away with the powerful instruments they posses that are their vocal chords.
The high school performances were also impressive. Westmont fourth-year Ryan Naumu expressed how happy he was with his own high school, Providence Hall.
Their performance was a powerful example of how the human voice can be used as a compelling instrument.
At the beginning of the evening, Shasberger described how, one year, the day following the festival saw a local Santa Barbara newspaper with a big front page article about gang violence between local schools that had broken out the night before on the streets.
He contrasted this with the activities that had been going on simultaneously in First Presbyterian Church, with multiple high schools “celebrating together and singing together.”
Shasberger expressed that if only the writer of that article had also seen their event that night, he would have gained a sense of hope.
This event is a collaborative effort that uses music to solve problems and inspire students to look outside the smaller scope of their schools.