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Inaugural Cal Poly Honor Choir Festival Concert Set for Aug. 4

High school singers from throughout the state will combine with Cal Poly singers for the Cal Poly High School Honor Choir Festival Concert at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, in the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.

This is the inaugural year of the festival, established by Cal Poly Director of Choral Activities Scott Glysson to provide an opportunity for talented high school singers to perform great music alongside collegiate singers and work with accomplished conductors. 

Students arrive for the festival Thursday, Aug. 2, when they will check in and begin their stay at Cal Poly. Throughout the weekend they will take part in rehearsals, live in campus housing and get a chance to experience some of the culture of San Luis Obispo.

“The event is intended to give the students the full college experience and simulate what it is like to be a music major at Cal Poly,” Glysson said.

As a part of the festival, each singer will also receive a private lesson from one of Cal Poly’s world-class voice teachers: Katherine Arthur and Jacalyn Kreitzer.

The festival will culminate with a concert at the mission. The centerpiece of the concert will be the “Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo” by Joseph Haydn.

“This piece is often referred to as ‘The Little Organ Mass,’ ” Glysson said, “and is a charming work for choir, soprano solo, strings and of course, organ, played by University Organist Paul Woodring on Cal Poly’s brand-new portative organ.”

Woodring will also serve as the accompanist for the festival. The soprano soloist will be Amy Goymerac, a Cal Poly alumnus and recent graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  

Other repertoire will include works by Eric Whitacre, Camille Saint-Saëns and André Thomas.

Glysson will conduct the festival. As a conductor of university, high school and community ensembles, he has performed both nationally and internationally. Recent engagements include the Mozart Requiem with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria and the Dan Forrest Requiem with members of the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland. As a graduate student, Glysson was honored as one of eight finalists from across the country to compete in the National Choral Conducting Competition sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Glysson was recently selected to represent the U.S. in the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program Fellowship. He and five other conductors will travel to Kenya this summer to work with choirs from across the country. Glysson will conduct the Nairobi Women’s Chorus in Nairobi.   

Mission San Luis Obispo is at 751 Palm St. in downtown San Luis Obispo. The concert is free and open to the public; no tickets or advanced reservations are required. Donations will be accepted at the door to support the Cal Poly Choral Program.

The concert is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit its calendar website.