Choral department invites parents to classes

At the Choral Department’s first Parent Day on Sept. 11, Dr. Ron Kean, Chair of the Music Department at Bakersfield College, conducted the Chamber Singers in a piece he composed and Chaplain Emily Feigenson led the singers and visiting parents in prayer in memory of the events of 9/11.

“It was a fun day and it was great to have the parents as an audience,” Sarah McMahon ’08 said. The Choral Department is encouraging parents to get involved in choral classes. The program allows parents to sit in and observe students’ daily class activities. Parent Days are organized to be on a more personal level and give an opportunity to parents to interact with each other and the singers. Parents observe communication between the singers and with their conductor. In this more relaxed setting, parents ask questions of the conductor and singers and participate in the class.

Rodger Guerrero, director of the Choral Music Program, said “We’re all about the process!” As Guerrero points out, the program gives parents an opportunity to participate in the learning process and vocal progress of the singers. Unlike the more formal concerts, parent days allow parents to observe the warm-ups and practice that lead to successful concerts. It bring the parents “closer to the action” of singing and enhances their involvement in choral studies.

Julie Platt, a visiting mother commented, “I enjoyed it very much and I am looking forward to other opportunities to visit.” Platt was happy to be invited to the parent day where she observed the daily class session. Parents were impressed by the singers’ performance of Aeinu Milkeinu. The song composed by Ron Kean is a prayer for Rosh Hashanah performed during the Jewish High Holiday Liturgy. Chaplain Feigenson enhanced on the song’s meaning by her presentation which included her translation of the song from Hebrew to English. Aeinu Milkeinu tells of God as a loving parent, quite appropriate for the event hosted for the proud parents of talented singers. The song was conducted by Kean who created a different sound by his alternate positioning of the sections that blended voices in a new way.

Future Parent Days for all four choirs will continue to enhance parent participation and encourage an environment where parents will observe the learning and rehearsal process of the singers leading up to their outstanding performances.