The “Sound Off!” two-day festival welcomed over 300 high school students from 17 high schools and about 230 middle school students from 12 schools around the Valley. The instructional and performance event for tenor, baritone and bass singers was held on Sept. 15-16 with high school students on the first day and middle schoolers on the second.
Each day ends in a culminating concert that highlights three individual school choirs and the tenors and basses from the Fresno State Choirs. Finally, every student participates in two final songs. This is one of the rare occasions in which the Fresno State Concert Hall is used as it was originally designed. When the new music building opened in 1991, the hall was the choral and opera rehearsal room and was intended to be used backward from how it is used today – with the singers on the tapered risers where the seats are and the conductor and instruments in what is now the stage floor. The seats were installed later to create the small concert hall.
It is definitely a unique treat to sit on the temporary risers on the stage and listen to over 300 voices singing from the seats. It is also an opportunity for future Bulldogs and choir members to receive high-level instruction and a collegiate experience.