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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Review: Audience gives a standing ovation to the FC choir’s fall performance

The Fullerton College choir’s dynamic sound made a lasting impression on its audience at their Fall Choral Concert, with the crowd giving a one-minute-long standing ovation to the singers.
Jose Vazquez
Concert choir sings at the Fall Choral Concert with Dr. Joshua Tan on piano.

The Fullerton College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers made the seasons change at their Fall Choir Concert on Wednesday, Oct. 25. With their crisp voices and the help of their conductor Nicola Bertoni Dedmon, the singers put their all into the performance with two songs that were composed by two of the choral studies faculty members.

Almost all of the pieces were created by living composers, a small but critical detail that Dedmon thought gave a feel to the concert that was different from the one last year.

“I really wanted to feature more new music by living composers since last year we were very heavy on historical repertoire,” said Dedmon. “I also wanted to feature composers from more marginalized backgrounds, so we had more women and composers of color. That was very important to me.”

The first half of the concert was based upon the symbolism of the changing seasons with the pieces having a dark-sounding undertone that crescendos into a lighter sound that correlates with the coming of spring and the rising of the Sun.

The chamber singers perform a song conducted by Nicola Bertoni Dedmon. (Jose Vazquez)

“For the chamber singers, there was a theme of the seasons passing and going from the darkness of the winter into the light and all the symbolism that goes along with that,” said Dedmon, who is also the coordinator of choral studies at Fullerton College.

The symbolism of rising light became apparent in the chamber singers’ last piece “So Breaks The Sun” composed by Shavon Lloyd. For most of the song, the choir sings in a slow pace with clashing minor and major key melodies that could give one goosebumps with shades of sadness. This is until the choir started to sing the chorus, “So breaks the sun,” where they sing in a slow pace that turns into a fast crescendo, imitating the sunrise ending a cold winter night.

“The chorus in ‘So Breaks The Sun’ almost sounds like a news report,” said choral program treasurer Mia Zaragoza. “It’s fast paced and there are so many complex harmonies in that piece. It was the most fun to sing!”

Concert choir conducted by Nicola Bertoni Dedmon at the Fall Choral Concert on Wednesday, Oct. 25. (Jose Vazquez)

The second and final set of pieces was sung by the almost 90-person concert choir of Fullerton College. In this second set were locally composed pieces “The Prow” and “Barter.”

“The Prow,” composed by faculty member Matthew Lyon Hazzard, was centered around a poem entitled “The Prow” written by his late father-in-law.

“I looked at these poems and I found myself in them,” said Hazzard. “This one describes an incredible scene of John sailing out into the ocean with dolphins starting to play in their wake. There is something needed to be said about this piece which is you cannot experience the highest high without experiencing the lowest low.”

Faculty member Matthew Lyon Hazzard hugs Choral Studies coordinator Nicola Bertoni Dedmon. (Jose Vazquez)

During the song, the choir sang with a passion that honored the composition of the piece. The group made tasteful ocean noises, with bass singer Joshua Mirador even being able to imitate the sound of a seagull. This, with their voices, brought the piece to life for all in attendance and was a tremendous tribute to the poem that created a foundation for the music that came to be.

Mirador spoke on how the music moved him. “I really tend to think more about the words and what the music feels like to me and the music just poured out of me, and I couldn’t even stop it,” said Mirador.

“Barter” was one of the last songs in the second set and was composed by faculty member Joshua Tan. The Fall Choral Concert was the world premiere of his song.

“I thought about all of you [the choir], each point of view when I wrote this music,” said Tan. “It was a collaborative process with them so hopefully you can tell that we built something special here at Fullerton.”

Nicola Bertoni Dedmon talks about a piece before its sung. (Jose Vazquez)

This was a great piece to add to the end of the performance as the text built around it was written by Sara Teasdale, an American poet criticized for being too literal in her poems. The literal nature of her writing made her poems understandable to a wide set audience.

“I chose this poem because I wanted a text that was relatable to everyone,” said Tan.

The piece starts with the choir echoing the word “life” and abruptly, but succinctly blends into the rest of the piece that sounds as though you are being taken on a journey through the beauties of life. To help drive this point home, the choir would echo and repeat words that related life to nature, showing that nature is a prime example of the loveliness that life and the world holds.

The Fullerton College Choir is having an upcoming concert on Nov. 9 for their Treble and Bass Chorale. For more information, visit the music department website.

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About the Contributors
Sara Leon
Sara Leon, Managing Editor
Sara Leon is the Managing Editor for The Hornet and has been on the newspaper for four semesters.  She is a four-time award winning  journalist. Sara has won second place in ACP Best of Show- Broadcast Feature Story and fourth place in Critical Review from JACC for her review and corresponding video of the indie film "Nowhere." She also has earned honorable mention awards from JACC for Profile Feature Story covering a 12-year old student at Fullerton College and Audio Podcast as the producer of Around the Hornet. While Managing Editor in Spring 2023, The Hornet finished seventh place in ACP Best of Show for Website, 2-year campus and received recognition for General Excellence: Online News Site from JACC. From 2023-2024, Sara was also the JACC Student Representative for all community college journalism students in Southern California that are memebers of JACC. Sara enjoys exploring, watching scary movies, and learning about new things. Her end goal in the journalism field is to become a news anchor for ABC Eyewitness News.
Jose Vazquez
Jose Vazquez, Staff Photographer
Jose Vazquez is a returning staff photographer for The Hornet. Jose wants to tell people's stories and cover points of interest in our culture's conflicts, politics, history, and the obscure. His focus currently is on the emerging music and art scene in Southern California. Jose is currently studying at Fullerton College where he is working towards a bachelor’s degree in photography and journalism. He also volunteers at a nonprofit art house movie theatre in Santa Ana, the historic Frida Theatre. In his free time, he creates videos on his YouTube channel and plays drums in a garage gaze band called Black Star Meadow.

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