Sydney Bound Benefit Concert packs the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame

Chamber Singer takes the stage as she performs her solo during the song “This is Me.”

Issy Barrientos, Reporter

The Sydney Bound Benefit Concert for the Bakersfield College Chamber of Signers packed the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame on March 10.

The first concert which started at 5 p.m. cost $35 but attendees could donate more. The second concert started at 7:30 with the prices ranging from $100 for a front row seat or $50 for a back-row seat. Beyond the time and price there was no significant difference between the two shows, with the expection of intermission during the later performance according the program.

The performers for the evening were introduced by Kyle Carter, the owner of the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame. He presented the BC Chamber Singers as well as residential singers Monty Byrom and Lydia Ranger as well as the main conductor for the night Dr. Jennifer Garret.

Garret said that after the groups came back from Italy she was approached to do the concert in Australia, so for the last two and a half years they have been fundraising to be able to go.

The first song was “I Don’t Walk on Water,” which was performed by the combined groups as well as the second song which was a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” It was not until the second song, that a few of the audience members started to record. Another song that was sung was “Twan Tanbou.” The Chamber Singers sung that song during the night of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson speech at BC.

That is not they only song that they sang from that night as they also sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/Follow the River.”  Former BC choral director, Ron Kean made his own version of that song. The history of that song is a tribute for Harriet Tubman. Chamber Singer Jill Burdick had a solo for that song.

Burdick was not the only to have a solo as Kelsey Morrow and Caley Mayhall had a solo for the song “This is Me”.

Jess Shiell, a member of the BC concert choir, was an usher of the event. Shiell said that the concert also served as an unofficial reunion for Big House, Byrom’s former band. She volunteered because she has friends within the Chamber Singers and listened to Byrom’s songs.

Juan Torres, the operation coordinator for the Delano campus, was present for the first concert with his family.

Before the last selection Garret gave a special thanks to the sponsors that could make the concert possible as well as their fellow performers, who she gifted with ‘We are BC’ shirts, and the audience for going out to see and support them. The second to last song was “Bridge Over Trouble Water,” which was song by all the performers after the performance the audience gave them a stand ovation as well as for the last song “Hallelujah.” As the audience left the Chamber Singers went outside, while it was raining, to collect any form of donations and to thank the audience.