Ventura College Symphony Orchestra & Choirs Combine for Concert
May 9th

VENTURA: Featuring the first great choral masterwork of Beethoven, the Ventura College Choirs and the Ventura College Symphony present their final spring concert on Saturday, May 9, 2009 at 8 pm. With ticket prices low at $5 and $10 for general admission, the concert brings a variety of exciting music to the Ventura College Theatre. Tickets are available at the door the evening of the concert.
Beethoven wrote “Christ on the Mt. of Olives” when he was 33. It was his intention to commemorate the agony of Christ on the night before he was crucified. For this he employed three soloists, a full choir and a large orchestra. It is a very expressive work, with many big moments. The last chorus, a Hallelujah Chorus, is one of Beethoven’s most beloved pieces.
Elizabeth Helms, the director of VC Choirs, chose Laura Wargo to sing the role of the Seraph, a six-winged angel. Mitchell Burris is singing the part of Peter. The professional soloist Daniel Plaster of Los Angeles is singing the role of Jesus. It is one of the major, large dramatic presentations of the Christ story in choral music. Ms. Wargo, of Santa Paula, and Mr. Burris, of Ojai, are outstanding student members of the VC Choirs.
Jessica Helms, an outstanding professional in Ventura County, is performing the spectacular piano part in Concerto Grosso by Ernest Bloch. This famous work exploits the full color and excitement of the string instruments in the Orchestra.
Finally the program includes three lighter numbers. Two are blues, the “Bear Mountain Blues” and the “Beale Street Blues.” With these two numbers you can hear a bit of blue grass and a taste of New Orleans. The percussion section plays a happy arrangement of “Take Five,” a well-known jazz number by Dave Brubeck. It is a special sight to see 11 players, on drums, marimbas, bells, cymbals, and timpani bringing it all together.
The Ventura College Symphony is directed by Burns Taft assisted by David Gorospe. Mr. Gorospe is principal percussionist and assistant conductor in the Orchestra and a teaches music in Ojai.
For additional information, please contact Dr. E. Burns Taft, Professor of Music, 805-654-6400 ext. 3210, or Alisa Sparkia Moore, Esq., Public Information Officer, 654-6462,