By Ken Martin

BEAUTIFUL SOUNDS: Patty and I attended the Annual Spring Choral Concert, “The Flight of Song”, a presentation by the CVHS choir at the CV Performing Arts Center last week. Seeing these students perform leaves no doubt in my mind as to why they consistently win awards. They are impressive both aurally and visually. This is a class act all the way under the guidance of Sue Suesoef.

The music list was somewhat subdued, with most of the songs designed to showcase the depth of the talent in this group, an endeavor which was very successful. It was an interesting program. Lacking were any songs that showed the ability of this choir to rattle the rafters with pieces like “Battle Hymn of the Republic” or “God Bless America”, which I have heard them do in the past much to the delight of the audiences. Even the finale, for which I waited with some anticipation, was somewhat quiet.

Throughout the program individual awards were presented to outstanding members of the choir. These were well-deserved and it was great to see these students recognized.

Allier Manahan, their perennial accompanist, is a great pianist. Unfortunately, he tends to play very loudly and covers up a great deal of the subtleties of the vocal music and as well as some of the not so subtle parts. Consequently the audience frequently hears only the piano and not the vocals.

These items notwithstanding, this was the usual high quality performance that has become de riguer for this assemblage. Overall, it was a great performance and an enjoyable evening.

UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS: A major detractor from the otherwise high class show was the catcalls, whistles, whoops and shouts from the juveniles in the audience (as well as from a couple of the performers). This raucous behavior is annoying and contributes little to the showing of audience appreciation and is better reserved for lesser class events like rock concerts. It does not belong at an upscale event like this choir concert.

CONNECTING: I have mentioned before an organization called Cell Phones for Soldiers that refurbishes old cell phones and forwards them, along with calling cards, to our service people overseas. This is a worthwhile effort and Castro Valley resident Al Bronzini has contributed mightily to it. To date Al has collected and sent them over 780 cell phones and is still looking for more. They don’t even have to be in working order. Cell Phones for Soldiers will repair them.

If you have any unused cell phones, there two collection points here in the valley. One is at the Moose Lodge, 20835 Rutledge Road, which has a collecton box on top of the juke box. If the hall is open, just go in and put the phone in the box. The other is at the Village Barber Shop in Castro Village. Just stick your head in the door and Al Proietti will accept the phone.

I can only imagine how much good these phones do for the morale of our troops.