The May Music Festival, opened the evening of April 24, promising to provide students and residents of the Yuba-Sutter area with the finest entertainment that Musical Director Wayne J. Davis had produced this spring. The Chambers Singers’ concert kicked off the season, drawing thunderous applause before a pleased audience of smiling faces that filled the Yuba College Theatre.
The May Music Festival introduced area residents to a magnificent collection of traditional folk songs and melodies written by German composer Johannes Brahms, who as a youth was a pianist for concert violinists in Europe and was renowned as one of the best writers of German “Lieder,” known today as “Art Songs.” Brahms’ music, known originally for spiritual harmony, set a romantic atmosphere.
Janette Haymore, a senior resident, commented, “The performance was a joy; I could feel the music.”
Haymore was accompanied by Crystal Powell of Australia who said, “Though the songs were sung in different languages, it wasn’t about words. Music is universal; it was wonderful,” Powell stated happily.
Deputy Probation Officer Pam Halford, escorting a platoon of teens from the Yuba-Sutter area boot camp said, “The boys enjoyed it.”The Festival, which continued until May 18, also featured music of other timeless, world-renowned composers such as Irving Berlin, famed American songwriter and composer. Berlin was born in Russia and moved to New York with his parents at the age of five, and at the age of 23 wrote songs such as “White Christmas” and “God Bless America.”
In addition, the Festival featured the music of Thomas Morley, who lived during the Elizabethan period and reportedly knew William Shakespeare.The diverse, melodic program also included works by Anton Bruckner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Shubert and Samuel Barber.
The Chambers Singers’ Choir gave a fantastic performance, with Soloist Elizabeth Halverson opening with the traditional song “Dein Blaues Auge” by Johannes Brahms, followed by the angelic voices of the Yuba College Chamber Choir, singing several favorite hits such as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and concluding with “Michelle,” originally performed by the Beatles.
Music lovers filled the Yuba College Theater during the three April presentations and left each time after giving a standing ovation.