Latest choir concert stuns audience and highlights college venue

The South Puget Sound Community College winter choir concert highlighted many SPSCC students’ musical talent.

Choir Director Molly McNamara said the choir has great potential.

“It’s fascinating that SPSCC has such talent in its student body,” said SPSCC President Timothy Stokes.

The choir is composed of two groups, volunteers who are part of the community education night choir and students who sign up for the standard choir class.

Among the SPSCC choir students is Maggie Hooker who had two solos in the concert. She wants to be an opera singer, said McNamara, remarking how stunning she is.

Patrick McDermott, who had two solos and wants to be in musical theater, is also astounding, McNamara said.

“They both have what it takes to make it,” she said.

McDermott has been in the choir for the last two quarters and is hoping to go to a four-year college soon for a political science major with a possible minor in music.

“I’ve learned a lot in McNamara’s choir, from learning how to harmonize really well with others to improving my sight reading,” he said.

“Molly has done such an amazing job bringing them together to sound wonderful,” said Stokes about the choir.

McNamara doesn’t take all the credit for making the choir sound beautiful. “The acoustics in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts are amazing. It’s one of the only places I know of where the acoustics are actually working for you when you’re performing on stage,” she said.

Both McNamara and Stokes agree that SPSCC’s performing facility is top-notch.

“It’s getting a reputation in the community for being a place with really amazing acoustics, and people are really wanting to perform here,” said McNamara.

She said SPSCC is thinking about expanding the musical program.

Stokes supports her on this, “One of my goals while I’m President of SPSCC, is to see some additional performances and fill the theater’s performing venue up so the theater won’t be dark as often.”

“I’m a supporter of the arts, and I’ve always dreamed to be the president of a college with a great performing arts program,” he said.

The March 13 choir concert featured 14 choral pieces in two 45-minute segments.

All the songs fell into the concerts’ theme of “Far Away and Home Again.” Some pieces were quintessential American favorites, while others had their roots in faraway parts of the world.

According to McNamara, the third song on the program, “Hisakata No,” created as a Japanese poem by Ki no Tomonori, had a special meaning to the choir.

“Singing it was a way to honor our pianist’s, Jennifer Hermann’s, mother, who is Japanese and gave us special insight into the song,” she said.

The popular “Les Miserables” song Bring Him Home was performed by SPSCC student Patrick McDermott.

McDermott said, “The audience had a lot of energy, and I was really happy about the song choice.”

Kyle Hanks, two-time winner of the C. Keith Birkenfeld Award for Composition, played two pieces “Nocturne” and “Menuet” from Sonatine.

Anyone who wants to sing in the choir can, without auditions, but the choir asks that people can at least match a pitch.
SPSCC will have another choir concert on June 5, again in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.