The annual Holiday Chorale concert came and went Friday night to a roaring applause from audience members.
The concert was conducted by Nicola Bertoni, newcomer Dr. Arian Khaefi and featured Lena Kim as pianist.
The set list included classic holiday songs, some as old as six hundred years, but the show stealer was a modern interpretation of the classic “Jingle Bells”.
The 1953 Mark Hayes rendition of “Jingle Bells” featured in the show begins with a dreamy and frantic acapella repetition of the word “jingle” before casually progressing through multiple musical styles.
Dr. Khaefi showed the strength of his chops with this interpretation, which had the audience in laughter and applause. The highlight of the song came from 21-year-old Adena Bentley who stepped forward and sang a Tiny Tim-esque rendition of the classic “Jingle Bells” verse. The director looked at her annoyed but his face quickly turned to astonishment as Bentley pulled out a crystal glass and attempted to break it using only the crescendo of her voice—the audience roared with laughter.
This Chorale Concert also acted as an impromptu send off and tribute to long time choir director John Tobey, who Dr. Bertoni and Dr. Khaefi pulled out of the audience.
“This man has put his blood, sweat, and tears into this program,” said Dr. Bertoni, “it’s a dream come true to have a Dean of Fine Arts that used to be a choir conductor.”
John Tobey then conducted his own rendition of “Silent Night.” Tobey’s version most notably featured long low notes held to the singer’s final breath.
“I loved the whole performance, I’ve never heard ‘Carol of the Bells’ live before and it’s so much better in person,” said Vincent Wolfe, Fullerton College alumni. “I’m glad my friend dragged me to this thing.”