Sunday, September 27, 2009

Music in Porterville - Fabulous Studio Band and Sierra Vocal Arts - June 2009

Music in Porterville

By Esther Avila
Southern Sierra Messenger

There is no doubt about it – Porterville is a musical town, not only during the school year but year round. The music is everywhere – with elementary, middle, and high school students, as well as community groups, local bands and individuals performing with choirs, orchestras and bands.

One does not have to look far to find it, either. It is as close as the center of town.
“Music on Main Street” – sponsored by the City of Porterville and the Porterville Chamber of Commerce – continues at 6:30 tonight with Duggin’s Citrus Express taking center stage at Centennial Park. The concerts, which run every Friday night through the end of June, are free and open to the public. Centennial Park is located directly in front of City Hall on Main Street.
I also find it heart-warming that local musicians, such as the Fabulous Studio Band and the Sierra Vocal Arts Ensemble, are currently on tour – sharing their music with the world.
(photo by Esther Avila)
The Fabulous Studio Band, under the direction of Jim Kusserow, left Porterville Tuesday morning. The band is performing in Portland, Oregon tonight and Saturday night before continuing towards Seattle, and Whidbey Island in Washington. They will log more than 2,800 miles as they perform at numerous venues during their 10-day North West Pacific tour.
A small group gathered to see the musicians off. Among them was Dawn McMaster, mother of Kyle and Kory McMaster, recent graduates of Porterville College and Porterville High School.
“This is the last time they will be playing with the band,” McMaster said. “It has been an amazing experience for them. They have grown so much, in music, and as young men. They won’t be here next year. This is it. Both are attending Azusa Pacific next year. Both are majoring in music.”

The Sierra Vocal Arts Ensemble is also on tour. The community choir, celebrating their 20th season, left Thursday and will be visiting and performing in some of the most beautiful and historic cathedrals and churches of the world – London, Salisbury, Stratford-upon-Avon and Cambridge. They will also participate in a workshop with English composer John Rutter.
“There will be something for everyone. There is so much history within the area where we will be traveling that one can’t see it all,” said Fred Knutson, the ensemble’s founding conductor. “I do know that for many of our singers, having the opportunity to have a choral workshop led by internationally renowned composer John Rutter, will be the highlight.”
This is the ensemble’s first extended tour, said Sara Guinn of Hanson Travel Ideas of Porterville. Other than performances in Modesto, the choir has performed only in the Porterville area.
Guinn has arranged for the ensemble to visit many historically important sites, including Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, William Shakespeare’s birthplace, Winston Churchill’s burial site, Anne Hathaway’s cottage, and numerous museums and historic churches.
“We will be performing in some of the most beautiful and historic venues in the world. Salisbury Cathedral was built within a period of 38 years beginning in 1220,” Knutson said. “Imagine something built in the 1200’s that is as beautiful and functional today as when it was built. So much of the music we perform was composed for beautiful buildings much like that cathedral, it brings a singer so close to the original performance sound, which we rarely get to experience in our modern church buildings. Probably the most exciting part will be experiencing so much that’s new with the great friends I have in the Sierra Vocal Arts Ensemble. They are a dynamic group of people and I know that it will be fun to ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh’ with them.”

1 comment:

  1. If you’re in a school band - marching band, concert band, jazz band or even rock band, you have to check out the new Rhett & Link School Band Rap video.