RCC’s Chamber Singers release new album

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By Erin Tobin

By Erin Tobin

All great people start from humble beginnings and if you are looking to have the beginnings of the next possible American Idol, it would be a good idea to pick up Riverside Community College’s Chamber Singers Spring 2004 new compact disk.

Be forewarned though, this CD doesn’t include pop tunes. Instead it delights with an enlightening blend of hymns and spirituals. This is of course what chamber music is all about.

This doesn’t mean the whole cd is the same thing over and over again. In fact each piece offers a different ability of the members of the chamber singers. The group opens with Georg Philipp Telemann’s “Psalm 117” which brings to mind gothic cathedrals. It is followed by Maurice Durufle’s “Requiem.”

“Requiem” is sung in Latin, which means it’s hard to sing along to. Listening to it though, is still very much a treat.

The singers display very powerful, rich voices which are supported beautifully by the orchestral ensemble. All together there is a wonderful feeling of peace when you listen to “Requiem.”

“Requiem” is broken in to movements. Each part takes up a different track and offers something slightly different to hear. The highlight is listening Rick Shaffner deep baritone voice singing “Domine Jesu Christe.” It is a nice change of pace from the tracks before it.

Just before the dark sounds of “Requiem” get to be too much, the CD changes pace and John David’s song “New Day” starts off a selection of more gleeful and upbeat pieces.

Some of the pieces may even sound familiar to those who are not classical music enthusiasts. Unfortunately this is probably because they heard in the background of some commercial. Nevertheless, the female voices that comprise “Duet from ‘Lakme'” by Leo Delibes are enchanting to listen to. Then there is “Past Life Memories” which was composed by Sarah Hopkins. Hopkins has put together a different type of song that allows the chamber singers’ voices to build off one another in a truly haunting way.

The CD ends with some arrangements of spirituals that are quiet upbeat and energizing. Undine Smith Moore’s arrangement of “Daniel, Servant of the Lord” concludes things on a strong note. The RCC Chamber Singers’ Spring 2004 C isn’t perfect. There are places where it is obvious that those singing are amateur, but that’s to be expected. Another thing that is obvious is the amount of potential. Some of the names listed as member of RCC Chamber Singers may be well-known someday. Hopefully the CD will remind them where they come from.

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