Choral Fest Combines High School Voices

The Westmont College Choir

The Westmont College Choir

Westmont’s annual Fall Choral Festival, featuring more than 300 high school singers in ensembles from 12 area high schools, join voices with the Westmont Choir, Choral Union and Chamber Singers on Friday, Oct. 26, at 4:45 p.m. at the Music Academy of the West and 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Half of the high school choirs will perform at 4:45 p.m. and the remaining half will perform at 7 p.m. prior to the Westmont College Choir’s opening concert of the season. Both performances are free and open to the public, although seating is limited. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040.

Senior singer Michelle Vera

Senior singer Michelle Vera

The festival features singers from Righetti High School, Chatsworth Charter High School, Fresno Christian, Rosemead High School, Redlands Adventist Academy, Mira Monte High School, Highland High School, Providence: A Santa Barbara Christian School, Agoura High School, Maranatha High School, Cate School and Crean Lutheran High School.

The Westmont College Choir program includes a diverse array of choral music including the soaring Renaissance motet “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” by Thomas Weelkes, Bach’s exciting motet for double choir “Das ist Meine Freude” and works by classic American composers Eric Whitacre and Randall Thompson.

“The choir’s program will include some surprisingly up-tempo works of contemporary American composers that reach out to fresh styles of musical expression and draw their inspiration from the popular song writing of Carly Simon and the music of Kenya,” says Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship and college choir director.

Conductor Michael Shasberger

Conductor Michael Shasberger

The concert will debut Westmont’s new Jaeckel continuo pipe organ accompanying the Bach motet.

The festival will conclude with all the high school groups combining to perform a mass choral piece, “O Come, You Servants” by Christopher Tye.

Before performing, the students will attend workshops with Westmont professors Grey Brothers, Michael Shasberger, Steve Hodson, Nichole Dechaine and Robert Rockabrand.