Orange Coast College's
revitalized 85-voice Chorale, under the baton of its new director, Ricardo Soto
, will offer a Christmas concert on Saturday evening, Dec. 15.
The concert, which features soloists and an orchestra, will begin at 8 p.m. in OCC's Fine Arts Recital Hall.
The Chorale will perform the Christmas portion of Handel's Messiah.
The Christmas concert will inaugurate a new era for OCC's Chorale
, under the dynamic leadership of Soto
.Southern California born and bred, Soto earned his B.A. and Master's degrees in music from California State University, Fullerton, and his doctorate in musical arts from the University of Southern California. Before joining OCC's staff last August, Soto led the men's and women's choruses at UC Irvine for four years, and conducted the men's chorus and directed opera at Cal State Fullerton for three years.Prior to that, he was head of the choral program at Saddleback High School in Santa Ana for four years.
"I'm thrilled to be at Coast," he
says with a big smile."I want to bring OCC's Chorale
back to the level that enjoyed for many years under the leadership of Richard Raub.Dick is a legend around here.His
OCC chorales were highly respected by audiences, musicians and music critics for more than two decades.
"It'll take us a number of years to build the Chorale back to that level, but that's my passion and my goal."
"The Orange Coast College Chorale filled the thousand-seat Robert B. Moore Theatre for every concert," Soto
says."This year our concerts will be held in the 370-seat Fine Arts Recital Hall on campus, but we hope to develop a strong following and return to the Moore in the near future." Soto is pleased with the progress his Chorale has made in the two-and-a-half months that he's been its director.
"These students will do anything I ask them to do, they are so responsive," he
says."I'm extremely gratified by their effort.They're willing to change their sound, and to listen to new musical concepts."
Britten's Ceremony of Carols was written for a female chorus.
"I decided to do this work because I want to develop a strong women's sound with the Chorale," Soto
said."Our women are doing a wonderful job with this piece." Soto
says OCC's Chorale
will perform the Mozart Requiem at its spring concert, set for Saturday, May 18.
"We've slated an ambitious season -- with the Messiah, Mozart's Requiem and Ceremony of Carols -- but this new collection of singers is up to the task," Soto
says."I'm very excited with the progress we've made this fall, and with our prospects for the future.
"I'm proud to say that OCC's Chorale
Advance concert tickets, priced at $5, are on sale in OCC's Community Education Office, located adjacent to the college's library.The office is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.