Choral Groups Prepare For Saturday Concert

Justin Mathay, Staff Writer

Dozens of students in GCC’s college choir, chamber singers, and opera workshop are collaborating on a concert Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

“I believe in the power of people singing together,” said Zanaida Robles, the college choir and chamber singers director.

“We have students ranging from those who have lots of experience to students who have never sung a note in their life,” Robles said. “Putting those students together to come up with the final product where everyone feels good about it and everyone feels like they’re contributing to something that is fun and musical is a challenge, but we make it every time. We get it done.”

Spring break and illnesses have been a challenge, said Lori Ann Piscioneri, the opera ensemble director.

Robles said that being in a choir is like building a community, but that it is hard to build a community when people go in and out.

“We have had to overcome, refocus, and rethink our repertoire, but I think this is the home stretch. Everyone is looking forward to making the last push towards the performance,” said Robles.

College choir and the chamber singers will perform standard songs, classical music and gospel.

“I expect the students to be prepared, I expect the music to be as clean as possible, but most importantly, I expect to have fun,” Robles said. “There’s no doubt that these performances are best received when the performers are having the best fun ever.”

The second half of the concert features the opera ensemble performing Act II of “Die Fledermaus,” composed by Johann Strauss II.

Piscioneri said that “Die Fledermaus” has both dialogue and music, hence there will be acting, speaking, and singing.  Training the opera performers to sing and act presented a new challenge.

“I want them just to see the hard work we have put in and to follow the story.”

Stauss’s piece is an operetta and contains comedic elements, which Piscioneri hopes will make the audience laugh and keep them entertained.

“Opera doesn’t have to be for the elite,” she said. “Opera is for everyone. It’s accessible. It’s a story that we can all have fun with, and the music is very relatable.”