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Classical Music Performance Seeks Audience Participation
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“Sonora Sings Classical” will host its first read-through of classical choral music on Saturday, Aug. 27, at 3 p.m. This free event will feature a read-through of choral favorites from Brahms Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Faure’s Requiem and more. The audience will be “the choir.” Instrumentalists can see what it’s like to sing the music. Non-singers are welcome to listen in the midst of the group or sit on the sidelines. The “choir” will be led by local conductors and accompanied by local, professional accompanists. The sing-along will be in a private home on Uplands off Wards Ferry in neighboring Sonora and can be accessed by following the signs. Contact Barbara Broad at (209) 962-7730 for more information or email at

Organizers of the event are Barbara Broad, conductor of the choir at the Church of the 49ers in Columbia; Jennie Moiso, long-term member of the Columbia College Community Chorus and Chorus Board member; and former Professor of Music at Columbia College, John Carter. According to group chairman, Barbara Broad, Sonora Sings Classical “has been organized to provide more singing opportunities for members of our community. Choral singing is such a wonderful art form. We want to encourage its appreciation by holding events such as this. This is our first one. We hope it leaves people wanting more.”

The read-through, which is free, will have a donation basket. All the proceeds will go to pay the minimal production costs. Music will be provided but singers are asked to bring a folding chair.

Sing-alongs are not new to choral fans around the region who are used to the annual Christmas Messiah Sing or the Sonora Bach Festival Baroque Sing-along or Summer Sings in the Valley, featuring the informal performance of major choral works. But this event will be a first for Sonora in the summer. Plans of the committee are to expand to more events throughout the year.

The afternoon will be “led” by conductors from the community: Darryl Hollinger of Arnold, John Carter of Sonora, Gary Gober of Groveland, and Rod Kerbs of Sonora.

“Conducting may be a misnomer, in this case,” explained Carter. “Most people will be reading the music, so we don’t expect the ‘conductors’ will do much in the way of interpretation or expression. Working toward a polished performance is not the goal. The goal is to experience the music, just enjoy the sound.”


Accompanists for the event are Dorothy Woodford Arndt of Sonora, Gail Johnson of Sonora, and Diane Day of Murphys.