Review: Performance filled mediocre melodies

The Citrus Singers, Concert Choir, Women's Ensemble and Voice Ensemble all join on stage together for the spring concert on June 2 at the Haugh Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Shawna Cook.

Instead of watching the highly anticipated “Wonder Woman” film on opening night, a slew of family and friends arrived at the Haugh Performing Arts Center for an enjoyable evening as they supported their loved ones.

On June 2, the Citrus College Visual and Performing Arts department hosted the 2017 Spring Music Concert.

Five groups shared their musical talent during the night, including the Sierra Wind Symphony, Concert Choir, Women’s Ensemble, Voice Ensemble and Citrus Singers.

The Citrus Singers perform songs like “Sugar” by Maroon 5 and “All of Me” by John Legend on June 2 at the Haugh Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Shawna Cook.

The opening song performed by the Sierra Wind Symphony was “Homage to Perotin,” based on a piece written over 800 years ago in the Middle Ages.

From the beginning note, various whimsical sounds consumed the Haugh, preparing the audience for a harmonious evening.

Despite its great start, the symphony ventured into boring territory.

The audience’s applause varied per performance. Enthusiastic crowd reactions were given to the upbeat and rhythmic performances while slower, classical melodies received a mediocre applause.

Master of Ceremonies Bruce Langford provided commentary between performances. Langford told corny jokes, interesting facts about the background of classical songs and talked about how bad pop music has become.

However, even Langford couldn’t keep the audience entertained for long. The slow paced music took over the show and with Langfords jokes sprinkled throughout the concert, it could only alleviate the audience a few minutes before the next sleepy tune.

The first half of the performance was sluggish and dull until the Sierra Wind Symphony performed “Turkey in the Straw,” a historical tune dating back to the 1800’s. This folk song originally had racist undertones that were evident in its lyrics. Eventually the song was cleaned up in order to make it appropriate for all ages.

According to Titanic survivors, this song was also played by the ship’s band as the infamous boat sank after hitting an iceberg. On a brighter note, “Turkey in the Straw” was used in a more uplifting context in 1928 during Walt Disney’s animated short film “Steamboat Willie.”

After an evening of older, slow-paced songs, the Women’s Ensemble started their set with a modern medley of current pop songs like “Sugar” by Maroon 5, “All of Me” by John Legend and “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa, among others. Their stiff and out of sync dance moves looked awkward and not well-rehearsed.

After the contemporary mashup, the ensemble abruptly transitioned back into the slow paced classical tone that dominated the evening concert.

The Voice Ensemble launched the second half of the show after its slow-paced beginning.

They introduced a little Latin flavor with the salsa-styled song “Cantar!” by Jay Althouse. This enabled a noticeable change in mood. Their second performance, which included swaying hips and snapping fingers, brought about a feel-good atmosphere.

The Citrus Singers were the last individual performance of the evening. They captured the audience with their powerful vocals and harmonious perfection. In April, the Citrus Singers went on a nine-day concert tour in Germany where they performed four major public concerts.

Their creativity and talent came to life at the Haugh when they performed “Imagine/Pure Imagination” based on John Lennon’s version. Citrus student Christian Pineda arranged and conducted the piece. He made it unique by having multiple singers use hand bells.

The airy chimes produced by the hand bells added a soft touch to the singers’ strong voices, making it a memorable performance. After four more songs, the Citrus Singers completed their individual group performance before joining the other four groups for the Spring Music Concert finale.

However, after the finale the musicians stayed seated while the entire theater went silent. This created confusion throughout the audience as many were trying to decide if they should stand up and exit the theater or stay seated and wait around.

After a few seconds, the lights then turned on and the musicians started to proceed offstage. The audience then realized that the performance apparently ended making the audience exit the theater.

Overall, it was a mediocre evening with a few standout performances. With tickets at a similar price, seeing “Wonder Woman” would have been a more appealing way to start off the weekend.



Communications major and first year staff writer for the Citrus College Clarion who loves to cover sporting events.