Portland Community College Rock Creek preparing for fall concert
Portland Community College's Rock Creek Choir is getting ready for its latest performance.
The choir's fall program will feature Grammy- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Corigliano's 1961 work "Fern Hill," with text by poet Dylan Thomas. The 16-minute-long work is about reflecting back on the carefree days of youth and feelings of nostalgia.
"There are also moments that feel very energetic," said Samuel Barbara, director of choral and vocal studies at PCC Rock Creek. "So, there's a great deal of contrast in the piece and it's a lovely poem. Listeners will have the opportunity to read along (with) the poem while listening (to) the program."
The concert will also include "The Lake Isle" by Ola Gjeilo; a setting of the spiritual "Roll Jordan," "Roll" by Stacey Gibbs; and "The Old Church" by Stephen Paulus.
The audience will also see other performers outside of the chamber and concert choirs. Throughout various pieces, people will hear from solo guitarists, a chamber orchestra and a pianist.
Barbara, who is conducting the concert, hopes the performance can be life-changing for his students.
"We need to, as educators, show them what the possibilities are," Barbara added. "I think anytime you can work with a professional orchestra, that has a great potential to effect lasting educational change in our students."
This is also the first time PCC Rock Creek is holding its fall concert at the First Unitarian Church of Portland.
"We're experimenting with something new in order to see if we can get some of the Eastside audience and downtown audience to attend our concert," Barbara said.
He expects a couple hundred people to go the concert this year, but he understands it takes time to build an audience.
"(The) venue is also affiliated with the Northwest Academy," said Barbara. "I'm always looking for ways to kind of draw in new audience members, but also have a venue that's going to be acoustically gratifying for the students."
In the last three years, Barbara has noticed growth within PCC Rock Creek's music program. With the addition of a jazz choir, numbers have close to tripled, said Barbara.
He hopes the community will support the community college program by attending the fall concert.
"I think anytime you can pause and stop what you're doing, and put yourself in the midst of artists, and just free yourself from the rigorous of the everyday world, it's really important that we stop and do that as a community," Barbara said.
PCC Rock Creek's fall concert begins on Friday, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m., with a second performance Saturday, Nov. 16, starting at 2 p.m. Both shows are hosted at the First Unitarian Church of Portland, located at 1011 S.W. 12th Ave. in downtown Portland.
Tickets for the show are available at the door with a suggested donation of $10.
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