Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Steve Hansen: Why go to San Francisco when world-class musicians perform right here in Lodi?

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 12:47 am

Why go to San Francisco for great musical performances when you can find comparable quality here?

Perfect examples of this premise are the Easter and Christmas concerts at the First Baptist Church of Lodi. Now wait a minute — before you scoff, read on:

Last weekend, I attended their most recent performance and was thoroughly impressed by the professionalism. No amateur night here. A full orchestra, along with vocal soloists and an outstanding choir, made the evening an enjoyable and memorable experience.

There was a variety of seasonal music, ranging from classical to contemporary. The show began with a twist on the Beatles’ hit — “Here Comes the ‘Son.’”

Some of the talented musicians included soloist Leslie Loomis, who has one of the most beautiful soprano voices I have ever heard on any stage. Her rendition of “Requiem,” by Andrew Lloyd Webber, was emotionally charged. Her range and clarity were amazing. Her stage presence couldn’t be beat.

Eleven-year-old Naomi Raphael accompanied her in a duet with excellent harmony.

The orchestra also had a number of talented people. Some play with the Stockton Symphony and at University of the Pacific. One of these is violinist Dr. Warren van Bronkhorst.

While a student at Pacific’s Conservatory of Music in the late 1960s, I remember van Bronkhorst. The Eastman School of Music graduate was a professor of violin for 24 years. He also was the concert master for the Stockton Symphony. Last Friday, I enjoyed seeing the maestro still playing beautifully at 86 years of age!

First chair violinist Juan Gutierrez was another brilliant performer. The clarity of tone and the perfect pitch of his instrument would rival anything heard in New York, Washington, D.C. or San Francisco.

These biannual programs are designed and arranged by Dane Burg and Susan Alexander. Burg is pastor of worship arts at the church and an accomplished concert pianist. He holds a degree in music from the Manhattan School of Music — one of the nation’s best.

Susan Alexander is a fine musician in her own right. She directs the choir and orchestra. Her background includes a bachelor’s degree in music. She was a teacher in Lodi Unified for 25 years. During the 1990s, Alexander also taught music education at Pacific.

The entire program lasted about an hour, which was just about right for us old folks. Our ancient backs, among other issues, don’t let us sit too long.

If there was a hitch in the entire show, it was the sound-mixing for the last number, called “End of the Beginning.” It was too loud and many musicians were competing simultaneously at the same decibel level. This caused an unfortunate distraction that made it difficult to hear the vocal soloist, Bruce Gaetke.

But perhaps the best thing about this great performance was the cost. Not $35, $50 or $100 per seat, but free and open to the public. Of course, the church did ask for a free-will donation to help offset fees of some of these professionals. Many others simply donated their talents.

So again, why spend fortunes on trips to the big cities? Why pay high “tourist” taxes, waste expensive gas, pollute the environment and pay ridiculous prices for parking when you can experience some of the best in musicianship available right here in livable, lovable and, I might add, “lyrical” Lodi?

This town has excellent musical performances if one simply knows where to look.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

More about

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

Recent Comments

Posted 16 hours ago by Jien Kaur.

article: Cynthia Neely: Climate change is real, …

Mr Heuer and mr Barrow - I email the comment of miss Mcdaniels to a friend for her comment. She advise that the comment about property rig…

More...

Posted 17 hours ago by Kell O.

article: Tom Kettleman, the turkey, found dead

Be careful what you say on that page, too. You will be banned for any and every reason. Also, be sure to know that Bill Corder has trademar…

More...

Posted 18 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Tom Kettleman, the turkey, found dead

Will there be stuffing and cranberry sauce at that vigil.

More...

Posted 18 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Cynthia Neely: Climate change is real, …

Angie are you mad about Obama's new sanctuary? What property owners are having their property taken from them this is news to me please exp…

More...

Posted 18 hours ago by Eric Barrow.

article: Letter: War is necessary to stop terror…

Perhaps Richard would like to volunteer to be the first to put his boots on the ground. The UK, Belgium and Denmark have joined the growin…

More...

Video

Popular Stories

Poll

What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

Lodi's Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department is hosting a public workshop at 7 p.m. at Hutchins Street Square to find out how it can better meet the needs of the community. What would you like to see in Lodi's parks?

Total Votes: 189

Loading…

Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Featured Events

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists