Around the World with the Pierce College Pangaea

By Natasha Lewin

San Fernando Valley Master Chorale’s conductor Terry Danne.

San Fernando Valley Master Chorale’s conductor Terry Danne.

On Tuesday, May 27th, the Pierce College Philharmonic Choir and San Fernando Valley Master Chorale took a standing-room-only audience on a musical extravaganza from around the world. Led by Terry Danne, artistic director and founder of the Premiere Chorale, the packed crowd was first treated to Carl Orff’s chilling Carmina Burana. (“O Fortuna”, which you may know best, has been used in such soundtracks as The Doors and 300.) Colm Estridge (baritone) and Amber Peters (with a high C so sharp you could prick your finger on it) delivered goose-bump worthy solos while the modest five-piece percussion ensemble thundered away like a full-size orchestra.

The concert hopped from Medieval times to Russia with love with Alexander Borodin’s “Polovetsian Dances” and onward to America’s Tony award-winning Kismet where soloists Theresa Danne and Lindsay Patterson showcased their soprano skills.

But it was classical Iranian fusion that really brought the house down.

Alongside international recording artist Saeed Mohamadi, the Philharmonic Choir performed two of Mohamadi’s hits, “Diar” and “Listen to Me Cry.” Ever the showman, Mohamadi and his three-piece band went full-on Persian dance party and got everyone from the crowd off their feet and dancing in the aisles. A refugee from Iran himself, Mohamadi cannot return to his homeland and instead promotes peace and freedom through benefit concerts for other Iranian refugees.

For more information about the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale go to www.sfvmc.org. For further concerts at Pierce College go to www.piercecollege.edu.

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