St. John’s Lutheran Church Hosts Meridian Voices and Synergy Chamber Players

Laura Lanfray, Feature Editor

“Passion for the arts, passion to share, and commitment to excellence,” Conductor Angel Vasquez-Ramos believes these are just a few things that went into putting together “LEGACY,” an evening of choir and chamber music hosted by St. John’s Lutheran Church on Jan. 20.

The show featured Meridian Voices and the Synergy Chamber Players performing the works of composers like Bach, Holst, and Respighi with Vasquez-Ramos as the conductor.

This was the debut concert for Meridian Voices who, along with the chamber players, hope to make the concert an annual event.

The Synergy Chamber Players performed first with Ottorino Respighi’s “Ancient Airs & Dances (Suite No. 3, P. 172)” and Gustav Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite (Op. 29, No. 2)”

Finally, the two groups of artists came together to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Jesu, Meine Freude.”

Laura Lanfray
Meridian Voices and the Synergy Chamber Players perform at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bakersfield on Jan. 20.

Vasquez-Ramos thanked guests before the start of the choir section and gave some insight into the songs they would play, trying to get the audience members to be on the look-out for certain motifs, and even the emotions shared between the choir and the chamber players. 

The team even provided the translations from German to English texts within the programs. 

The night was seen as a huge success as the seats filled almost entirely.

With the encouragement of the audience’s cheering, the two groups stepped up for an encore to close the night. 

“There’s that cliché that says many hands make for light work. I think to make something like this happen takes a lot of coordination from selecting the music, ordering the music, passing the music, rehearsal time, locations…as with many things… it takes passion and commitment, that’s what it really takes,” said Vasquez-Ramos. 

Laura Lanfray
Choir conductor, Angel Vasquez-Ramos thanks the audience after the concert on Jan. 20

His passion for the arts drives him to create and to share 

“It’s a never-ending task to be a musician. You can only get better and better; you have to keep working on it,” said Vaszquez-Ramos, “This is my contribution to the community, this is a purpose in my life, to share music with others, in Spanish, [and] in English.”

Vasquez-Ramos expressed his gratitude to the men and women of the choir.

“This happened tonight not only because of me but a lot of people with a lot of passion and skills and commitment…we found some of the finest singers in Bakersfield. I mean there are many fine singers in Bakersfield, but we found eighteen really good ones and it’s going well.”