VCC shows 'Celebrating American Composers' | March 10, 2023 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - March 10, 2023

VCC shows 'Celebrating American Composers'

Tri-Valley choral group marking 60th season

by Nicole Gonzales

Tri-Valley chorus group Valley Concert Chorale recently announced its spring season of shows marking their 60th anniversary.

In recognition of the six-decade milestone, the group is set to highlight prominent contemporary choral artists in "Celebrating American Composers". The group's performance style is known to incorporate and blend traditional and modern elements of choral music.

The first scheduled show takes place next Saturday (March 18) at 7:30 p.m. at Livermore's Asbury United Methodist Church. The second show will be held the next day, March 19, at 4 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pleasanton. Both shows will be accompanied by a live string quartet, pianist and guitarist.

John Emory Bush, artistic director for Valley Concert Chorale since 1998, spoke about the group's 60th season and several pieces they are set to perform in a press release ahead of the spring shows.

"For our special 60th anniversary performances, I selected pieces by American composers who have written the most beautiful melodies. These composers are well-known whose music is performed throughout the world," Bush said.

"While sometimes we might think of 'contemporary music' as discordant and hard to relate to, this is just the opposite. Each composer has carefully crafted rich and soothing tunes that will capture your heart and soul. This is a program for everyone to enjoy," Bush added.

The upcoming concerts will feature composers Ola Gjeilo, Jake Runestad, Eric Whitacre, Dan Forrest and more.

Bush explained that composer Whitacre is most famous for "virtual choruses" in which singers from across the globe will record themselves singing a composition. Whitacre then compiles the recordings and shares the virtual choir videos online. Valley Concert Chorale will be performing Whitacre's piece "Sing Gently" live.

In his statement Bush expressed appreciation for Gjeilo and his composition style.

"While born in Norway, Ola Gjeilo has resided in the United States for many years. He grew up in a musically eclectic home, listening to jazz, classical, folk and pop music. These styles and elements are reflected in his choral compositions," Bush said.

For the past six decades, the choir has continuously strived to engage audiences with various musical performances.

According to group members, the company started with the goal of "transforming the power of music by sharing their passion and joy in live performance".

To find out more about Valley Concert Chorale and upcoming performances in the Tri-Valley, visit


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