Striking a chord together

Lane chamber choir shares stage with premier vocal ensemble

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P.W. Braunberger / The Torch
LCC’s Lane Chamber Choir practices “The Road Home” which they sang in a concert on Feb. 13. The concert featured songs from Cuba, Estonia, the Philippines and the United States. “Music itself is what all cultures share,” choir member Dalton Dodson (3rd row, 2nd from left) said.

LCC’s Lane Chamber Choir returned Feb. 13 from a two-day tour where they performed with Cantus, a choir that the classical music magazine Fanfare called “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States.”

According to Matthew Svoboda, director of the Lane Chamber Choir, Cantus is one of the two professional choirs in the United States that works full-time.

“They were amazing,” Lane Chamber Choir member Dalton Dodson said. “To be able to perform with them was just an insane honor.”

Cantus also provided the chamber choir with workshops.

“I got a lot out of their teaching about especially just how the voice works,” Dodson said. “It was incredible.”

P.W. Braunberger / The Torch
The Lane Chamber Choir sang with the professional vocal ensemble Cantus on Feb. 13. Soloist, Charlotte Coons (front row, 5th from left), described the experience as awesome.

In addition to a joint concert with Cantus and vocal ensembles from Reed College and Marylhurst University, the Lane Chamber Choir performed at one high school in Salem and two in Portland. According to Svoboda, any performance the choir gives at high schools is “a great recruiting opportunity” for LCC.

“That’s one of the main ways people discover us,” Svoboda said. “And I always talk about our scholarships, our wonderful music program, our student to faculty ratios, the dedication of every teacher here.”

Svoboda noted that music scholarships are available to students who take leadership roles in the choir, not just music majors.

According to Svoboda, participation in the performing arts helps students succeed because “it’s incredible training for life, for social interaction, for trusting oneself, for using their full faculties.”

The choir’s soloist, Charlotte Coons, noted that singing helped her overcome social anxiety. Coons claimed that one term she did not participate in the choir was her worst at Lane, both academically and socially.

At the end of the term, the choir will hold a joint concert with the Lane Concert Choir, LCC’s beginner choir, and Churchill High School’s concert choir.

“That’s another way that we engage and reach out to our community and recruit students to our program and to Lane Community College,” Svoboda said.

This concert is scheduled for March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Ragozzino Hall on LCC’s main campus. Entrance is available for a suggested donation of $3-10. All donations support student scholarships.