Music and birthday candles for local college

Versatile pianist, plus composer and music conductor, David Benoit is among the special guests as El Camino College celebrates its Diamond Jubilee. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

“Shining Through the Decades”

El Camino College’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration Concert marks 75 years of serving students and the community

To commemorate this milestone, artistic director Joanna Medawar Nachef is heading up a free concert that features the ECC Symphony Orchestra, Chorale, Concert Choir, Women’s Chorus, Joanna Medawar Nachef Singers, and the Torrance Civic Chorale. David Benoit and Dane Teter are the guest conductors, with soloists Erin Wood, Lizbeth Sanchez, Chris Craig, and Antony Moreno.

Joanna Medawar Nachef in front of Carnegie Hall, 2018, prior to conducting another concert in that hallowed venue. Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

Nachef offered more details about this special event:

“My vision for this concert was to create an evening of music that celebrates the many facets of ECC’s musical mosaic. I selected a repertoire that is rich and varied. We will open the concert with Carl Orff’s ‘O Fortuna’ – from ‘Carmina Burana.’ Back in 1997, the whole work was performed for ECC’s 50th Anniversary. As the newly hired choral director, I prepared the choirs to sing under the baton of Jim Mack.

“Another facet to be celebrated is the legacy of excellence in our music department, its alumni, and current students’ talents. So, I elected to invite our most famous alum, David Benoit, to conduct his own composition. We will also feature, in Beethoven’s quartet, three recent alumni and highlight our most advanced piano applied student.

“Community Collaboration is another important aspect of El Camino College’s mission. In that light, I extended an invitation to the Torrance Civic Chorale and Joanna Medawar Nachef Singers to join our choral forces. Professional instrumentalists and vocalists will be performing side by side with our ECC students in both the choirs and the orchestra as well. Drawing from Beethoven’s final movement, our finale honors our collective humanity, a most fitting conclusion of this celebration after a trying two years.”

Shining through the Decades takes place at 8 p.m. on June 3 in Marsee Auditorium, located on the campus of El Camino College, Crenshaw and Redondo Beach Blvd, Torrance. The concert is free, but tickets are required. Get them at ER


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