COM’s 100-voice chorus opens game against Boston Red Sox
KENTFIELD, CA—Under the direction of maestro Boyd Jarrell, Marin Oratorio, the College’s 100-voice chorus, will sing the national anthem at tomorrow’s home game between the San Francisco Giants vs. Boston Red Sox at AT&T Park.
Securing this spot was not an easy feat. Two years ago one Oratorio member, Rishi Schweig, approached the Giants about the possibility. He was told that they were welcome to submit a demo that would be reviewed along with the hundreds of other submissions the marketing department receives each season.
Every major league baseball team has a creative director that is responsible for listening to the demos and finding great talent that can also bring new flavor to the well-known song fans hear night after night. The submissions are separated into demos from large groups and small groups. According to Schweig, hopeful large group ensembles are vying for 25 to 30 spots per season out of the 83 home games scheduled.
“It is a wonderful creative opportunity because the artists get to choose how they arrange and perform the national anthem,” said Schweig. “And to perform in front of 40,000 people—that’s just fun!”
Oratorio Director Boyd Jarrell was thrilled when he received the news that they had been scheduled at what is considered to be one of the season’s most sought after opportunities to perform.
Jarrell began directing Marin Oratorio in 2004, and since then has pushed the community chorus to raise the bar on performance standards by providing a vision of what a first-rate chorus can be.
Speaking about the importance of this chance to perform in front of a televised national audience, Jarrell sees possibilities. “For a few minutes we will have the attention of thousands of baseball fans within the stadium and across the nation,” said Boyd. “The visibility has the potential to attract both new singers and new audiences.”
The 2015-2016 Oratorio season wrapped up last month with an exploration of one of the most famous rivalries in music history. Jarrell directed the chorus in a presentation of Antonio Salieri’s operas and liturgical music, which he contrasted with Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus and Requiem. The director hoped this concert might stir up the age old discussion of whether or not Mozart and Salieri really were enemies. Although the Giants and Red Sox are not considered to be rivals, Oratorio’s national anthem performance promises to start the game off right.
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