The San Fernando Valley Master Chorale and Pierce College Jazz Band performed Saturday in the Performing Arts Building.
Led by Terry Danne they performed Ellington’s Sacred Concert and a Tribute to Dwight Elrich and his WOW Piano.
The night began with the chorale and band taking the stage against a purple backdrop.
Before the performance began Danne spoke about how Ellington’s Sacred Concert was a compilation of three concerts written by Duke Ellington.
The band beautifully complimented the chorale as they performed spiritual songs that gave the impression that one was in church.
Two performances stood out from the rest leading up to the intermission. These performances were “David Danced before the Lord” and “Praise God and Dance.”
“David Danced before the Lord” filled the room with energy which only increased as Rolondas Hendricks, a tap dancer, took the stage. Hendricks, who had all eyes on him, took the attention away from the chorale and band.
“Praise God and Dance” began on a somber tone but picked up in tone as the band joined with the powerful sound of the saxophone. This piece energized the audience before going into the intermission.
Following the intermission was a tribute to Dwight Elrich which proved to be the most moving part of the concert.
Elrich was an instructor and staff pianist on the music faculty of Pierce College for more than 20 years, a music director of Woodland Hills Methodist Church and music arranger according to the concert’s program. He passed away earlier this year.
The tribute featured his recent CD, The WOW Piano.
Before the tribute began Danne spoke about his relationship with Elrich and about how long they had known each other. He also told the audience that he wanted them to “leave with a feeling of up.”
The most moving part of the concert was the performance of “All Day, All Night/He Never Sleeps” and “Here’s One” which filled the dimly lit room with emotion as a photo montage of Elrich was played.
The concert ended with the performance of “What Wondrous Love” which did what Danne wanted and left the audience with a feeling of up as the chorale sang “And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be.”
The San Fernando Valley Chorale and Pierce College Jazz Band gave an impressive performance that was both enjoyable and full of emotion.
For more information on the San Fernando Valley Master Chorale go to www.sfvmc.org