Choral Studies

The Choral Department at College of the Canyons, under the direction of Julie Lawson and Lori Marie Rios has been growing rapidly over the past 12 years. There are four choirs from which to choose. Three are audition only and one is open to everyone, students as well as community members.  
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According to Julie Lawson, “The choirs create the opportunity for students to develop their sight singing skills, improve their vocal technique and learn to work with others.”  "Success in all walks of life requires many of the same skills which can be developed by singing in a choir, such as discipline, focus, motivation, persistence, and patience.”  “Music enriches our lives, music makes us better people, better listeners, more generous, more introspective.”
 
Through the following ensembles, the students learn the relevant issues concerning performance practice and rehearsal techniques. All four groups refine the individual selections to high standards and represent the college throughout the community. There is a choir for every level and ability (see listings below).
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The Voices of the Canyons is a large, mixed voice choir which meets on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 10:00 PM.  They work on everything from folk songs, spirituals, motets, and cantatas, to larger works for choir and orchestra and everything in between. No auditions necessary. E-mail Lori Marie Rios with any questions.
Student Learning Outcomes:
A student musician will be able to sing a voice part suitable for his/her vocal range as a member of a section within a larger ensemble by demonstrating fundamentals of effective breathing intonation, blending, balance, vocal quality, musical expression, proper diction and enunciation, and pronunciation.

 

The Chamber Singers, also a mixed voice group, is smaller in size and works on music more suitable for a small, intimate gathering. This would include pieces such as madrigals, chansons, jazz, and pop. Group meets MW from 12:20-2:15 PM.  Auditions will be held during the first class meeting. 
Student Learning Outcomes:  Compare and contrast different genres of choral literature and performance practice techniques. Demonstrate proper vocal techniques, including posture, breathing, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, and tone production, in a variety of languages


Just Jazz is a prestigious and award-winning vocal jazz ensemble at College of the Canyons. They have been invited numerous times to the Monterey "Next Generation" Jazz Festival, they were selected to perform at the Jazz Education Network’s national convention in Dallas, TX in 2018 and will be performing at the California Choral Directors Association state conference in San Jose in March, 2019.  Just Jazz is an SATB vocal group open to advanced singers with an interest in learning challenging jazz literature. Their music is accompanied by a rhythm section (piano, bass and drums). The choir draws some of its repertoire from popular jazz groups like the New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer, Sixth Wave and Vertical Voices, but most of their repertoire is arranged by well known arrangers like Kerry Marsh, Paris Rutherford, Michele Weir, Rosana Eckert, and Jennifer Barnes.  They also enjoy supporting up and coming arrangers like Neil Carson, Ryan Espinosa, Mike Ortiz, and Zach Yaholkovsky.  Auditions are held the first Monday evening of every semester at 6 PM in PCOH-219. E-mail Julie Lawson with questions. This group meets Thursday evenings from 6-10:00 PM. 
Student Learning Outcomes: Perform jazz arrangements in a variety of styles, including swing, be-bop, samba, bossa nova, New Orleans street beat, shuffle, funk, jazz waltz, and ballad.

House Blend is an SATB group​​ open to intermediate singers with an interest in learning jazz literature. Like Just Jazz, they sing in a variety of styles, swing, be bop, ballad, samba, bossa nova, and funk.  Some songs are a cappella but most are accompanied by a rhythm section (piano, bass and drums).  The choir draws some of its repertoire from popular jazz groups like the New York Voices, Manhattan Transfer, Sixth Wave and Vertical Voices, but most of their repertoire is arranged by well known arrangers like Kerry Marsh, Paris Rutherford, Michele Weir, Rosana Eckert, and Jennifer Barnes.  They also enjoy supporting up and coming arrangers like Neil Carson, Ryan Espinosa, Mike Ortiz, and Zach Yaholkovsky.  Auditions are held the first Monday evening of every semester at 6 PM in PCOH-219. E-mail Julie Lawson with questions.  House Blend meets Monday evenings from 6-10:00 PM. 
Student Learning Outcomes: Perform jazz arrangements in a variety of styles, including swing, be-bop, samba, bossa nova, New Orleans street beat, shuffle, funk, jazz waltz, and ballad.


 

Choral Performances Link
Photo Gallery

 
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