A Christmas Swan Song: Singers bid director farewell

Past and present vocal music students  students harmonized together for “Songs of Christmas” on Dec. 2 at the Haugh Performing Arts Center.

“Songs of Christmas,” a combination performance of the Citrus College Sierra Wind Symphony and Citrus Vocal Music Students, was the last performance directed by directed by professor Martin Green before his retires at the end of the semester.

In a special gesture of goodbye, alumni rose from the crowd and slowly walked on stage to join the choir in their last song of the evening.

Green did not notice when the group first walked on stage, and when he finally did noticed his former students he threw his hands on his head in surprise.

At the end of the last song, one of his former students gave a beautiful speech on how Green has inspired the lives of many students  through his 29 years at Citrus. He went on to say the group would have been larger, but most of Green’s alumni are on tour in Europe, Vegas and broadway.

With quick wit, Green announced his daughter Ashley Grether on stage as his favorite student of all.

The slow but classic concert started off with 11 solo and duet performances before the combined classes harmonized for the last six songs.

At the start of the concert, Green said singing brings out personality and tonight we would see these singers personalities.

Green’s simple saying came alive with each unique soloist’s approach and style to their respective songs.

The first two soloists gave off nervous body language that leaked into their performance.

However, Jasmine Gatdula roared out an unforgettable“Mary Did You Know.” . Her pitch was on point, and she looked a lot more confident on stage.. After Gatdula sang, the rest of the performers followed in her footsteps.

The shining moments were the last six songs when the full choir joined the stage, and Green conducted an intricate performance. His conduction led the choir and band to flawless sound that rang throughout the theater.

He conducted “The Songs of Christmas Medley,” in which the choir would sing parts of classic Christmas songs, then switch to another song with perfect transition.

“The Songs of Christmas” ended with a standing ovation and Green left in tears with his former students and daughter on stage congratulating him on his last concert at Citrus College.



2nd semester with the clarion. Michael is a photographer, designer and writer.