Masterclass has an impact

Vocalists receive expert instruction

Cynthia Vasquez , Staff Writer

The talented voices of Los Medanos College had the opportunity to debut their classical and gospel songs in front of a live audience and get critiqued by a vocal clinician on Tuesday evening at the Choral/Vocal Masterclass Recital.

With students performing in the recital, the event also included an academic lesson on the impact of hip hop culture in the Bay Area by a special guest speaker from Sonoma State University.

The students of the master vocal class ranged from inexperienced international students transitioning to singing in english to more experienced singers like Isabella Bishop who has gained self confidence with performing.

“I used to be so nervous, but today I definitely feel like I came out of my shell and was able to show how much I’ve grown” said Bishop, who has performed with the chamber choir for four semesters.

Overcoming self doubt is a common issue for performers, like Grayson Jolivette who admits to struggling a lot with growing into his voice.

“A lot of the things I learned in high school, in addition, to the chamber choir program and vocal classes at LMC have helped me become a better singer,” said Jolivette, who sang with the chamber chorale.

Eight soloists were put to the test and challenged on the spot  to make adjustments in front of the audience when Professor Ivanna Taratula-Filipenko judged and critiqued the strengths and weaknesses of their performance. Singers like Larry Walker and Anna Horrocks flourished under the pressure and brought the best of their voices to the excited audience.

A few speakers like Taratula-Filipenko entertained the crowd with her own flirtatious performance, while Dr. Amanda Morrison from Sonoma State lectured the audience about rap activism and consciousness in the community affecting culture generations later.

“We have something special in the Bay Area,” said Morrison, regarding the music from the Bay Area’s impact.

The program was conducted by Professor Silvester Henderson, LMC Direct of Choral/Vocal Activities whose passion for talented singers is evident through the work he’s put in to help the singers grow.

The material chosen by Henderson went through a selection process that satisfied the conditions of what the he considered to be the “trinity of vocal singing,” meaning the songs had to highlight a vocalist’s energy and intellectual application, support their diaphramic area, and provide tone that travels through the vocal cavity.

The warm energy and enthusiasm from the audience at any given moment had a positive impact on the singers whose nerves seemed to disappear once on stage. Those who attended, including experts that sung in the event, heard a variety of lovely sounds from a group of diverse individuals and enjoyed a masterful evening of music.