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FC to host Fresno Favorites Festival, May 3

FC will host the Fresno Favorites Festival in the Peoples Church auditorium, May 3. This event will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and will feature FC’s high school Celebration Choir. This festival will be in a different format from most festivals, promoting the idea of singing together with choirs from other schools.

Starting at noon, all the choirs participating in this event will gather for rehearsal. After a few hours of rehearsing songs all together, the choirs will walk across the street to have an early dinner at John’s Incredible Pizza. Students will have the opportunity to talk to students from other schools while enjoying dinner together. After dinner, the choirs will then return to Peoples Church for their final performance.

Music Director Michael Odgon notes that his idea for this festival came from his participation in another festival with a similar style.

“The inspiration for this event came from our school?s involvement in the ACSI Festival,” Ogdon said. “We all enjoyed singing together with the other choirs but had a hard time with how long it took for the whole thing to get done. A couple adjustments to the ACSI ideas brought us to the Favorites format.”

Ogdon believes that both FC and the community as a whole will benefit from this festival. Because this festival is set up differently from other festivals in the area, Ogdon believes this event will help FC become better known in the Fresno area.

“Doing something that has some originality to it in an area like ours, that has lots of choir festivals, puts our school and event on the map,” Ogdon said. “We have the chance to be leaders in our community; getting the public schools to come to us is a benefit.”

Neither FC nor any other school has hosted an event like this before. Ogdon came up with the idea because he thought the high school choir should participate in another festival after the Heritage Festival.

“This festival concept has not been done before,” Ogdon said. “We are the first! As to its timing, we felt the early Heritage weekend put some pressure on to get another performance date on the calendar, but we didn?t really have enough time to learn a whole new set of program songs. This worked for us.”

Summer Villanueba, ’15, who has been in choir since seventh grade, finds the festival difficult to prepare for, due to other school activities that draw choir students away from choir rehearsals.

“I’m okay with hosting the festival, but I feel like we’re not really prepared at the moment,” Villanueba said. “With half of the choir always absent due to other activities such as sports, it’s kind of hard to practice with the whole choir. But I think it will be a fun experience, and we’ve always gone to different places for choir so it’ll be fun to host something at school. My favorite part about being in choir is the music; I can go through the music and really relate to some of the lyrics. I like singing different songs and being with my friends; it’s just a really great experience.”

Ogdon has been looking forward to the event but notes that teaching the choir new material this late in the year is a challenge.

“I?m beginning to get enthusiastic,” Ogdon said. “The hard part will be teaching the new songs that need to be learned in order to sing with the other choirs. We are planning to sing all new material for this festival. The reality is that our other festival music is tired now, or rather, we?re tired of performing it. The new music is challenging, so we have a lot to work on.”

Hosting a festival comes with its challenges. Ogdon explains that getting other schools to make decisions and meet deadlines often proves difficult.

“It has been tough getting the other participating choirs to commit to our deadlines,” Ogdon said. “Planning for others is made more difficult when we don?t have their registration and fees in hand. We?ve also realized that getting the directors to decide on the piece of music they will lead has been a slow process. It is putting the choirs up against a time crunch to learn it all in time. It?s still worth it, though, for the end result.”

Senior Jordan Boudreau, who joined choir at the beginning of the school year, is looking forward to the upcoming festival because he believes it is a good opportunity to showcase the FC choir.

“I’m pretty excited for the choir festival because it will be cool to bring other schools in and see all the different students and choir directors,” Boudreau said. “We get to host our own event, which lets us show off our choir program. My favorite part of choir is getting to build relationships with a lot of kids I would never see if I wasn’t in choir; that’s been fun because I’ve gotten to meet a lot of new friends.”

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @meredithmonke. Follow The Feather via Twitter: @thefeather.

For more news, read the April 12 article, BRIEF: Instrumental groups to host concert on campus.

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