In 1956, Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale planted roots in the Central Valley — drawing members from Clovis and Fresno, as well as nearby cities like Coalinga, Porterville, Oakhurst, Coarsegold and Madera.
With the 2015-2016 season at a midway point, Dr. Anna Hamre is looking for prospective new members to join Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale as celebrations continue for its 60th anniversary.
On the horizon: The early spring concert, “Celebrating 60 Years,” slated for 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 6 at Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall next to Clovis North High School.
Hamre, director of choral activities at Fresno State, has been overseeing Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale for 13 years.
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“We have grown enormously within the last few years,” said Hamre, author of “The High-School/University Sight-Singer” and “The Weekly Sight-Singer: An Abbreviated and Accelerated Method.”
To continue growing the ranks of Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale, she will hold “stress-free” auditions for three days starting Tuesday, Jan. 12. Auditions are also available by appointment.
“Life is too short to be stressed,” she said.
As artistic director, Hamre has worked with hundreds of members. Currently, there are around 185 members with diverse backgrounds and professions — lawyers, teachers, professors, physicians, students, retirees, homemakers and professional musicians.
With a motto of “Giving Voice to the Central Valley,” members perform four times a year at Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall in northeast Fresno and William Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno.
But members aren’t limited to performing in the Central Valley.
Members have performed in New York City, Italy and Greece, and traveled to China, France, Austria, Prague and the Czech Republic.
Prospective new members will meet Hamre at Fresno State to sing a song of their choice. She said prospective new members should select a song that shows off their voice.
It can be a well-known nursery rhyme like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or a catchy tune by Taylor Swift.
And speaking of Taylor Swift, there aren’t specific age requirements to join Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale.
Hamre said she will take college students, middle-aged professionals and seniors with a passion and talent for singing.
“One of our best members is 90 years old,” Hamre said of Dr. John Donaldson. “He’s a fine singer.”
Hamre is looking for singers who have “good ensemble voices.”
Also, prospective new members need to be able to read music.
The two remaining concerts for the 2015-2016 season are set for early spring and late April.
The early spring concert, “Celebrating 60 Years,” will include Jean-Sébastien Bach’s “Christ lag in Todes Banden,” Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Toward the Unknown Region” and a new commission by Joungmin Sur with text by Glad Ruiz.
The late April concert with the Fresno Philharmonic will feature Sergei Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky.”
For singers who aren’t ready to join Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale, but still want to be part of the action and excitement, there are two options.
Coro Piccolo, which means “small choir” in Italian, performs independently from Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale.
Recently, the small, mighty choir recorded a holiday program for KNXT-TV that was televised on Christmas Day.
Auditions for Coro Piccolo will be held at a later date.
Starting in early April, Hamre will teach a four-week program, Sing From Your Heart, through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Fresno State.
Intended for beginners, Hamre will teach the basics of breathing, range, flexibility and tone production that are essential to singing.
To register for Sing From Your Heart, visit www.fresnostate.edu/cge/olli.
To schedule an audition for Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale, email Hamre at email@example.com.
“Celebrating 60 Years”
2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 6
Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall next to Clovis North High School, 2770 E. International Ave., Fresno
Details: (559) 278-2539, www.fresnocommunitychorus.org.