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The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

The award-winning news site of Cosumnes River College

The Connection

Gospel choir’s preview highlights fall concert series

Helen Harlan
Music Professor Omari Tau leads the Contemporary Gospel Choir in a preview concert on Tuesday. The concert took place in the AME quad and was presented by CRC’s Music Department to promote one of their many live events that week.

Cosumnes River College’s Contemporary Gospel Choir performed a half-hour preview concert in the Arts, Media and Entertainment quad on Tuesday at noon.

The preview was led by Music Professor Omari Tau and was a teaser for Thursday’s 7 p.m. “Student Spotlight: Gospel Choir” performance in the Recital Hall.

It was one of many planned live recitals and concerts scheduled for the week and fall semester for Cosumnes River College’s Music Department

“I feel invigorated by the fact that we have so much opening up on campus this week. One only needed to attend the Jazz Band at the Fountain yesterday to catch a small wave of the energy in AME right now,” said AME Dead Brian Rickel of Monday’s half-hour jazz performance in the main quad. “It was very exciting.”

The 13-person gospel choir, all students from Tau’s Musical Performance 353: Contemporary Gospel Choir, wore navy and orange “CRC Music” t-shirts and performed five choral pieces. Tau also played piano and, in an impromptu move, handed the keys off to Umoja Diops Scholars Student Personnel Assistant Malik Amos as Amos was walking by. 

Tau said that students that might shy away from taking a performance class because of stage fright should take choir.

“The reason why you take choir is because you get to share in that nervous energy with other people,” Tau said. “So if you have stage fright you don’t have to worry about it so much in choir.”

Roman Stewart, 30, a music major and the choir librarian, performed with the gospel choir and will take the stage as an actor in the Theatre and Dance  Department’s upcoming “Electra” and “Electricidad”.

Stewart jokingly said he had double-booked himself through the week and had a rehearsal or performance for music or theater every day. 

“Enjoy it. Prepare yourself,” Stewart said when asked what advice he had for students looking to join AME. “If it’s stressed out, push through.”

Nancy Balenzano, 60, a part-time music student and professional piano teacher, performed a solo with the gospel choir and said she encouraged students of all faiths and beliefs to take Contemporary Gospel Choir.

“It’s totally open to anybody of beliefs or non-beliefs. Omari puts everything in a historical perspective,” Balenzano said. “It’s all about the music and any kind of inspirational message, but it’s not church-based at all.”

The gospel choir’s preview was one of six live shows the music department had lined-up for the week. The department is planning another series of concerts in the middle of December, according to its “Fall Music Concerts” bill.

“What I adore about live art is that we, the audience, become active participants,” Rickel said. “This performance, this moment, it will only happen one time with this group of people. These successes, these mistakes, this particular shared energy.”

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About the Contributor
Helen Harlan
Helen Harlan, News Editor
Helen Harlan is a News Editor for the Connection newspaper. She joined the Connection to see and hear how people feel about the world around them, and her goal is to build her portfolio as a journalist. She has an affinity for animals, conservationism and the classic sitcom Seinfeld.

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