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Coronado choir joins Pikes Peak Philharmonic for concert at school Dec. 18

During a rehearsal in the First United Methodist Hall for their Dec. 18 joint performance in the Coronado High School auditorium, Luciano Silvestri conducts the Pikes Peak Philharmonic while most of the Coronado Shomber Choir can be seen in the back, providing vocal accompaniment. Watching at far left in the back is Coronado choir director Jeff Hodur.
Westside Pioneer photo
The Coronado High School Choir students, 15 of whom received All-state recognition this year, will perform with the Pikes Peak Philharmonic Sunday Dec. 18 in the school auditorium.
       The conductor is Luciano Silvestri. The concert will begin at 3 p.m.
       “We're excited and stressing out,” said 14-year Coronado vocal instructor Jeff Hodur, a 1996 alumnus who was a choir student there himself. “This is a semi-advanced orchestra and we don't want to embarrass them. This is pretty difficult music, too. We've been rehearsing our tails off.”
       Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults, with discounts for Coronado students, military, seniors and teens. There's no charge for ages 12 and under.
       Bringing the concert together was Tom Fleecs (pronounced “fleece”), who serves as School District 11 fine arts coordinator along with president of (and a cello player in) the Pikes Peak Philharmonic.
       Consisting of unpaid musicians who must audition in, the nonprofit Pikes Peak “Phil” was formed in 1965 with the intent of providing "musical enrichment opportunities"
This is another photo angle during the Dec. 6 rehearsal by the Shomber Choir and the Pikes Peak Philharmonic.
Westside Pioneer photo
for the region, according to its mission statement. One of its goals is to reach out to young people. In recent years, this has included a partnership with Mitchell High School, including performances at the orchestra's usual venue, the First United Methodist Church downtown.
       But the opportunity arose this year for the Pikes Peak Phil to play elsewhere in December and to partner with a different high school, Fleecs noted.
       Built in 2008, the Coronado auditorium is known for its acoustics, and the Westside high school's choir students have won awards year after year, individually and collectively. “We're very excited,” Fleecs said. “This could possibly lead to other joint performances. Louie [Silvestri] is thrilled about the quality of the singers.”
       The event will feature Coronado's Shomber Choir, so-called because it combines the Show and Chamber choirs, Hodur explained.
Coronado choir director Jeff Hodur (background, near the door) sings during a warm-up with his Shomber Choir before a rehearsal Dec. 6 with the Pikes Peak Philharmonic. They were doing the "Fantasia on Christmas Carols" number, on which he solos. At the lectern is orchestra conductor Luciano Silvestri. Tom Fleecs, the organization's president as well as the fine arts coordinator for School District 11, stands beside the piano.
Westside Pioneer photo
The program is scheduled for six pieces in all, including John Williams' “Double Trouble” composition from the movie, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” This ties in with the Philharmonic's 2016-17 season theme of “Shakespeare in the Springs,” Fleecs explained.
       Also on the bill are: Schubert: Symphony No. 5; Tchaikovsky, Nutcracker Suite; Vaughn Williams: Fantasia on Christmas Carols; Anderson: Christmas Festival; and Anderson: Sleigh Ride.
       A particular stimulus for the Coronado choice was the “Fantasia” piece, which can be challenging for vocalists, Fleecs pointed out. In fact, Hodur himself, a baritone, will handle the song's solo parts.
       He said he's looking forward to it. At regular school concerts, Hodur laughed, “they don't let us [teachers] sing.”
       “We know Jeff's abilities and his choirs are always top-notch,” Fleecs said. “It's going to be a great concert.”
       To make All-state, students must perform live auditions before vocal judges. According to Hodur, students sing a prepared solo and are scored on tone quality, intonation, accuracy of notes and rhythm, diction, dynamics, musicality, scales, intervals and sight reading. The number of singers selected to All-state from Coronado this year (15) is equal to the most he's ever had in a year, he added.
       They are: James Boehlke, Deanna Cooper, Isabella Cross, Albright Dor, Joshua Kendall, Kelsey Lippincott, Jasper Morgan, Darcy Naugle, Autumn Palmer, Nikki Partlow-Loyal, Daniel Peterson, Erica Purcell, Katherine Radzienda, Lauren Reynolds and Grace Sapp.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 12/9/16; Schools: Coronado High School)

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