Spring Choir Concert at BC

Misty Severi, Reporter

Africa, China, Wales, New Zealand, USA, Ireland, Philippines, Jamaica, and Israel.

All of these countries were covered in Bakersfield College’s “A Celebration of Folk Song” Spring Choir Concert.

On April 1, BC’s Chamber Singers and College Choir got together and had their annual spring concert with guests Wrenwood Sessions and West High School Choir.They performed songs from various countries to a full house.Caley Mayhall and David Madrid gave brief introductions before each song was performed.BC Choir director Jennifer M. Garrett directed the concert with Regina Shelton on Piano.

The show opened with a Maori (New Zealand) song called “Kua Rongo Mai Koe” that was led and choreographed by Caley Mayhall.

Some of the other songs include:“Tshotsholoza,” a South African mining song, originated in what is now considered Zimbabwe.

The translation of the lyrics mean “Go forward, go forward on those mountains the train is coming from South Africa. You are running away on those mountains, the train is coming from South Africa.”

Those lines sung in the languages of Zulu and Ndebele were sung in a call and response manner.“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” was originally a poem by William Butler Yeats, but with help from former BC professor Ron Kean, the choir turned the poem into a beautiful ballad.And “Janger” a traditional Balinese folk song that had several audience members talking about the unusual choreography after the concert had ended.Wrenwood Sessions performed “Rocky Road to Dublin” with the choir right before intermission, they performed their own set list at intermission before receiving requests for an encore.

Wrenwood Sessions is a local, primarily instrumental group of musicians who bonded over their mutual love of the Celtic style of music.

The West High School choir performed a moving version of Shenandoah, before the director Ken Burdick joined in on a drum for Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, a Hebrew folk song.

The most popular performance of the night was “Cindy,” the final song of the evening where all the performers came out on stage and sang together.

Some instruments used in the song included a xylophone, a tambourine, and a wood block. They ended the concert with a standing ovation.

“I think the performance was a beautiful blend of different cultures,” said audience member Jessica Davis, “and I know they covered some music from countries that I never even thought about listening to.”