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The dream comes true for 40 choir students from Fresno City College who are performing at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City. The students and Choir director Julie Dana will be featured in the Reflections on Unity Concert hosted by National Concerts on June 15, 2019.
Dana will conduct the Fresno Chorale as they perform three musical pieces selected by the National Concert. The choir ensemble will also join the National Concert Chorus and the National Youth Chorus accompanied by the Big Spring High School Honors Band in performing two world premiere commissions with dynamic lighting and projection. The concert will be a grand performance that promotes unity in the world where individuals can add their unique voices to become part of the whole.
The Fresno Chorale is a combination of the different vocal ensembles at Fresno City College, including the City Singers. Dana and the Chorale have been preparing and fundraising for the concert since August 2018. Despite financial challenges, Dana uses this unique opportunity to take as many students possible out of Fresno to travel across the country and to perform in Carnegie Hall. Dana explains, “These singers know where Carnegie Hall stands in the echelon of greatness. I want the students to build and experience a better understanding of the world beyond what they know through this musical and educational trip.”
Matthew Workman, Executive Director of National Concerts, invited Dana and Fresno City College to audition and participate in the first Reflections on Unity Concert. Workman regards Dana as a wonderful champion for FCC students. Workman shares, “Dana is highly respected in the choir community, especially in California. To put her on the podium shines the spotlight on FCC students.” He adds, “Dana’s students have this opportunity to serve as anchors in the performance by leading the other ensembles in the premiere.”
For some students, this is their first time traveling outside of California and performing with the choir. Maurissio Rodriguez is a Chorale member and he is thrilled to perform. “I never sang in a choir,” says Rodriguez, “but Carnegie Hall is something every great musician dreams of performing in. When Mrs. Dana let me join later in spring 2019 I worked hard to make it happen.”
For Morgan Claiborne, another Chorale member, this is a special moment in her life. Claiborne explains, “The chorale is the most driven group of people I know, and I want the audience to be touched not just by the music but by us so they remember Fresno City College.”
Fresno City College will be in New York City from June 8 to June 16, 2019. They will perform at a special Send-Off Concert on Sunday, June 2 from 3:00 – 4:30 pm at Shrine of St. Therese Church on Wishon at Floradora avenues to thank their supporters. The concert is free but donations will be accepted.