April 23, 2008

Three schools join forces for Sac State’s ‘Choralfest’

Photo: Sacramento State choral groups conductor Donald Kendrick, center, is flanked by Oakridge high school’s Natalie Miller and Christian Brothers high school’s Ronald Slabbinck.
Sacramento State choral groups conductor Donald Kendrick, center, is flanked by Oakridge high school’s Natalie Miller and Christian Brothers high school’s Ronald Slabbinck.


Sacramento State’s choral groups will join with those from Christian Brothers and Oakridge high schools for “Choralfest,” the University’s final choir concert of the season.

The performance will be held in Sacred Heart Church, 39th and J streets, at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 17. The University’s three groups—Men’s Chamber Choir, Concert Choir and University Chorus—will host the Honors Chorale from Christian Brothers and the Oakridge High School Chamber Singers from El Dorado Hills.

Sacramento State’s offerings include “Tshotsholoza,” a Zulu piece with “lots of energy and excitement,” says University choirs director Donald Kendrick. Other pieces include Urmas Siisask’s “Benedictio” and works by Stephen Foster.

The Honors Chorale, under the direction of Ronald Slabbinck, will perform “Jabula Jesu” by Stephen Hatfield, and “Wade in the Water,” by Moses Hogan. The Chamber Singers, directed by Natalie Miller, will perform Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque.”

The choral combo is an annual concert event for Sacramento State. “I try to invite a variety of local choirs to share a concert with us,” Kendrick says. “It’s great for their choirs to hear college students and it’s a great recruiting tool for our Sac State program, too.”

“The experience of sharing a concert with such an exemplary university choral program gives Christian Brothers students the opportunity to grow musically and professionally,” Slabbinck says.

Miller echoed those sentiments and noted that Oakridge doesn’t have a performance facility and the Chamber Singers have to use the school’s gymnasium. “So this is a real treat to perform at Sacred Heart.”

All three conductors expect the event to be a great experience for them, their students, and, of course, the audience.

“When we come together to sing, we put aside our worries and allow ourselves to be engaged in beauty,” Kendrick says. “The audience can feel this and is also caught up in the inspiration and delight of it.”

Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the University ticket office, (916) 278-4323 or www.tickets.com.

For more information, call the Sacramento State Music Department at (916) 278-5155 or visit www.csus.edu/music/choral/. For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.