Photo courtesy of Thomas Loewenheim
Fresno State Choir during a performance in 2009.
The Music Department’s annual three-day choral festival begins tonight in the music building’s concert hall. Since coming to campus in 1999, Anna Hamre, director of choral activities, has carried on the tradition of the festival.
“The festival is one of the largest choir festivals in the state. We have about 70 choirs arriving from high school to community college students,” Hamre said.
Participating choirs also get a chance to learn from the festival’s main headliner, Rodney Eichenberger, a prominent choral professor who has guest-conducted and lectured all over the United States and abroad.
“He, along with other judges, critique each of the choirs and select a winner who will have the chance to perform next year,” Hamre said.
Students along with Hamre are also looking forward to performing at this year’s festival. Gina Chrifco, a fourth year vocal music education major, looks forward to working with Hamre and seeing other musicians come together to perform.
“Just seeing them excited about music and what they’re doing, it’s really a rewarding experience, to work with musicians under a common purpose and working towards the same goal,” Chrifco said.
Aaron Burdick, a second year graduate student and choral assistant at Fresno State, echoed these sentiments and looks forward to working with new singers.
“I’m excited to see what they’re working with and interacting with them,” Burdick said.
“I joined when I was a freshmen in 2009 and it’s been fun; I understand my role as a veteran student. It’s amazing how intricate Hamre is, and the results are amazing,” Burdick added.
Hamre hopes that the festival will continue to have the quality of performance she has come to expect.
“The feeling of conducting is absolutely glorious; nothing so infuses what it means to be human than sound,” Hamre said. “It’s a dream job. I get to go to work every day and make music with people. I love it. It’s great.”