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Choral and Vocal
A SEASONAL MESSIAH WITH BALANCE AND HEFT
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 10, 2017
The mid-December concert season seems for jaded reviewers to invariably include a Messiah performance, and perhaps a Messiah in a long string of similar and mundane performances. This was decidedly not the case when San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque mounted Handel’s eminent three-part 1742 Orato...
Symphony
ANDREW GRAMS FINDS HIS GROOVE SR SYMPHONY IN RACHMANINOFF
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, December 03, 2017
Last Sunday’s Santa Rosa Symphony concert featured two elegant and refined guests: music director candidate Andrew Grams and pianist Stewart Goodyear. Both displayed dazzling technique and consummate artistry, but Goodyear was the more consistent of the two. Some of Grams’ inconsistency may have st...
Symphony
SONIC SPLASH AND ENSEMBLE DELICACY AT SO CO PHIL CONCERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Franck’s wonderful D Minor Symphony is a rarity on today’s concert programs, and I can’t remember a North Bay performance in many years from any of the six resident area orchestras. So it was good to see the Sonoma County Philharmonic feature it in their Nov. 18 and 19 concerts at Santa Rosa High S...
Chamber
TETZLAFF QUARTET'S MASTERY IN MOZART AND SCHUBERT
by Terry McNeill
Saturday, November 11, 2017
German violin virtuoso Christian Tetzlaff presented a critically successful Weill Hall recital Feb. 18, and returned to the same venue Nov. 11 with his admirable Tetzlaff Quartet in a program of Berg, Schubert and Mozart. Clarity of ensemble has always been a hallmark of this Quartet, and contrapun...
Chamber
RAVISHING SHORT OPERAS FROM FRENCH TROUPE IN WEILL
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 10, 2017
Standard Weill Hall fall and winter classical programs are pretty routine – symphonic music, chamber, solo recitals – so it was a rare treat Nov. 10 when just two works from the 17th century were gloriously presented. With such specialized compositions, period performers with commanding authenticit...
Symphony
MEI-ANN CHEN PROVES A WORTHY CONTENDER FOR SANTA ROSA SYMPHONY CONDUCTING POST
by Steve Osborn
Sunday, November 05, 2017
These days the focus of Santa Rosa Symphony concerts is as much on the conductor candidates as on the soloists. This past weekend’s concerts featured the second of those candidates, Mei-Ann Chen, along with pianist Nareh Arghamanyan, each of whom cut an imposing figure on the stage. Chen is diminut...
Symphony
TO RUSSIA WITH BRILLIANCE
by Terry McNeill
Friday, November 03, 2017
Russian pianist Denis Matsuev’s high velocity and frequently slam-bang virtuosity came to the Green Music Center last year with a thrilling and equally perplexing solo performance. So many in Weill Nov. 3 were interested to hear if his pianistic style would mesh well in a concerto, and with a fine ...
Symphony
THUNDEROUS TCHAIKOVSKY FOURTH OPENS MARIN SYMPHONY SEASON
by Terry McNeill
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
North Coast weather is turning cool and the nights longer, ideal for Tchaikovsky’s big boned symphonies. The Santa Rosa Symphony recently programmed the Fourth (F Minor Symphony) as did the San Francisco Symphony. Norman Gamboa’s Sonoma County Philharmonic just played the Tchaikovsky First, forgoi...
Recital
RESPIGHI'S PUNGENT SONATA HIGHLIGHTS KENNEY-GUTMAN RECITAL
by Terry McNeill
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Respighi’s B Minor Violin Sonata seems never to gain conventional repertoire status. Perhaps the great Heifetz recording is intimidating, and I can recall over many years just two local performances: Jason Todorov and William Corbett-Jones years go in Newman, and a titanic reading in March by Anne S...
Chamber
MIRÓ QUARTET AND JEFFERY KAHANE PROVIDE MUSICAL RELIEF FOR FIRE-RAVAGED SONOMA COUNTY
by Steve Osborn
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Sonoma County’s Green Music Center has stood silent but unscathed the past few weeks as the county begins to recover from the devastating fires that began on the evening of October 8, only a few hours after a Santa Rosa Symphony concert in the Music Center. Since then, concerts by the Symphony, the ...
CHORAL AND VOCAL REVIEW
River Choir / Sunday, December 19, 2010
International Choral Music with a Festive Twist
Sonia Tubridy, Director

Sona Tubridy (left) and the River Choir Dec. 19

TUBRIDY LEADS RIVER CHOIR IN FESTIVE HOLIDAY GUERNEVILLE CONCERT

by Terry McNeill
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sonia Tubridy, along with Carol Menke the late Nina Shuman, must be noted as Sonoma County’s most multi-tasking musician. In addition the playing the piano for chamber groups and in shows, singing, playing the accordion and leading Klezmer groups, Ms. Tubridy has found time to lead a first-rate choir of 14, the River Choir.

In the first of two holiday concerts in Guerneville’s Community Church Dec. 19, the Choir presented thirty disparate works ranging from the time of William Byrd to contemporary carols from South Africa and West India. The audience of 35 was invited to participate in several of the carols, and desserts provided by the singers following the concert were an additional holiday treat. The sound of the rain on the Church roof added to the winter flavor of the event.

In addition to providing precise cues as conductor, Ms. Tubridy played orchestral accompaniments at the piano, sang often with the altos and even provided rhythmic support with a drum held under her left arm in the upbeat “Riu Riu Chiu.” Gael Reed and Jean Ashley were soloists in two works each.

Highlights for this reviewer were the intriguing dissonances and surprising modulations in Warlock’s “First Mercy,” “La Virgen Lava Panales” with a shimmering final note from Ms. Ashley, the jazzy syncopations in Luis de Victoria’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and the Shabbat HaMalka festive songs. Randy Barron sang and played the guitar in a long and touching ballade to holiday peace (“Christmas in the Trenches”) reflecting the abortive Christmas truce from 1914 on the Western Front.

Singers listed in the program, including some that read from texts or played guitar (Randy Barron, Dan Fein and Alby Kass) included sopranos Kathleen Dechant and Gael Reed; altos Jean Ashley, Kathrin Williams, Wallie Kass and Tomi VanBladen; tenors Tom Lowrie and Phil Tymon; and basses Bob Bulwa and Green Greenwald.