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Music showcase to dazzle

End-of-year concert mixes musical styles

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 15:12


George Morin / The Advocate

Music majors Stephanie Rios (middle), Selene Hernandez, and Lucia Perez (right) practice their harmonies for the Seven Joys of Christmas event in M-116 on Dec. 4.

The music department will be holding its fall semester showcase on Friday in the Knox Center at 8 p.m. This year, the concert event is titled “The Seven Joys of Christmas.”

The showcase will include Contra Costa College’s very own JazzaNova, Chamber Choir, JAZZ-ology, Gospel Choir, featured soloist and more. Music selections will be a compilation of Kirke Michem and George F. Handel.

According to the department’s press release, the concert will feature professional quality vocal and piano performances. Under the direction of music professor Stephanie Austin, performances will include classical, gospel and jazz compositions that celebrate the holiday season.

Assistant to the performance program director and JAZZ-ology member Stephanie Rios said, “A really cool thing is every Christmas showcase we sing the Hallelujah chorus and all of the choirs sing together.”

Rios said that this will be the first time they will feature a student composition. Music student Thomas Marshall composed a piece that will be performed by student pianist, Erik Zapata.

Soloists include Rios and fellow JAZZ-ology member Selenne Ruiz.

Stage manager Dan Snyder said there are different styles of music presented.

“It’s cool to see people who may not have even been playing music for six months up there performing,” Snyder said.

The concert will feature special guests such as harpist Randall Pratt and the West County Winds under the direction of Jessica Bejarano.

Rios said, “I’m really excited because we put so much work into it. It’s a nice way to start the holiday season.”

She said the mayor of San Pablo will be present to announce performers. Master of Ceremony for the event will be marketing and communications director Michelle Jackson.

The department takes an entire semester to prepare their music and advance planning of production. Music students serve as crew members and volunteer as ushers and work the ticketing station.

The department will be holding a preview concert as part of its Children’s Concert Series tonight at 6:45 p.m. in the Knox Center. Admission is free for children up to grade 8 accompanied by their teachers and parents.

Due to the limited seating, reservations are encouraged. This event will give children the chance to interact with the musicians while hearing live, professional musicians.

Proceeds from the “Seven Joys of Christmas” will be used to fund the music department. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.

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