University Choirs celebrate 30 years of Sister Cities

An tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhaláigh will extend a warm welcome to San Jose University Choraliers as they celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Dublin – San Jose Sister City relationship. A lunchtime choral performance on Monday, 13th June, 2016 will take place at the Rotunda, City Hall, Dame Street, at 1- 2pm. The concert is open to the public to attend free of charge.

The Choraliers under the baton of Dr. Jeffery Benson from San Jose State University will be joined by choirs from West Valley College, Resounding Achord, Aragon High School and Presentation High School. Each of the choirs will showcase one song each and will come together at the end under the direction of Dr. Benson to sing a collaborative piece.

“Established in 1986, the Dublin-San Jose relationship was initiated to develop cultural, economic, artistic and sporting ties between the two cities. I am delighted to welcome the performers here to City Hall to celebrate this 30 year relationship of our wonderful cities.  Bainfimid taitneamh as an gceol Dé Luain i Halla na Cathrach ” arsa an tArdmhéara.


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Notes to the Editor:

Choir Details:  total of 151 singers

  • Aragon High School under the direction of Mr. John Chen
  • Presentation High School under the direction of Ms. Emilie Bertram
  • Resounding Achord under the direction of Ms. Kristina Nakagawa
  • San Jose University Choraliers under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Benson
  • West Valley College under the direction of Mr. Lou de la Rosa

Biography for for choirs:

Aragon High School

Aragon High School Chamber Choir & String Quartet

Is made up of Advance musicians from Aragon High School which was founded in 1961. This ensemble performs a variety of genres from classical, folk to jazz. Aragon's Vocal and String ensembles have performed in China during the 2008 summer Olympics, in Canada, and many states in the US. Aragon's Chamber Choir has also perform along side with International Artist, Susan Boyle, and Canadian Vocal group The Tenors. This year, under the direction of John Chen, the ensemble is making their first Ireland debut.


Presentation High School

Bella Voce is the premier choral ensemble of Presentation High School, a private, Catholic school for young women located in San Jose, California.  The newly developed choir program has enjoyed significant accolades in recent years, including Unanimous Superior ratings at the California Music Educators Association Large Group Festival in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016; invitations to perform in the St. Joseph’s Basilica of San Jose Season of Hope Concert series in 2013 and 2015, the St. Joseph’s Visiting Choir Series in 2015 and 2016, the San Jose State University Choir Invitational in 2015 and 2016, and were chosen as the featured p2erformers for the San Jose Diocesan Choral Festival in 2014 and 2016.  The choir frequently performs for events on the Presentation High School campus and throughout the Bay Area.   Bella Voce was accepted to participate in the Choirs of America National Top Honors Choral Festival at Carnegie Hall in 2014 and the Heritage Festival of Gold at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Los Angeles in 2015, where the group was chosen to be a Spotlight Performance for the closing Encore concert.   The choir was delighted to make their international debut in 2016 as part of the Limerick Sings International Choral Festival and San Jose-Dublin Sister City Celebration 30th Anniversary Concert!  Bella Voce is directed by Mrs. Emilie Bertram.


Resounding Achord

Resounding Achord Productions (RAP) was founded by a group of singers and choral enthusiasts in 2012 as a service-based organization with the mission of “building our community through song.” To fulfill this mission, RAP works directly with educational and religious organizations to build up their music programs and assist their singers and students in any way possible. In addition to hands-on help, a portion of each major concert’s revenue is donated to a specific performance organization, be it a church, school, or other nonprofit organization.

Resounding Achord is a 45-voice mixed choir based in San Jose, CA, conducted by Artistic Director Kristina Nakagawa. One of the core values of the organization is to produce accessible programs for wide audiences, and their repertoire ranges from early classical music to modern popular standards.

San José State University Choraliers

The San José State University Choraliers have been considered one of America’s preeminent chamber choirs for the past 40 years. Currently under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Benson, the Choraliers have most recently performed with The Rolling Stones, Josh Groban, Dionne Warwick, Andrea Bocelli, the Los Angeles Festival Orchestra and the Skywalker Orchestra, and give four major concerts a year in the San José area.  They will touring throughout California and Europe in 2016, singing in Dublin and Limerick, Ireland.  Additionally, they will perform their highly acclaimed Season of Hope concert at the St. Joseph’s Cathedral on Thursday, December 17, 2015.

Under the direction of Dr. Charlene Archibeque, the SJSU Choraliers have performed for seventeen state, regional, divisional and national conventions of ACDA and NAfME--most recently at the 2005 National ACDA in Los Angeles and the 2002 Western Division ACDA in Honolulu as well as the California Music Educators Convention in Pasadena in 2003. The Choraliers have produced seven critically acclaimed compact discs entitled Together, Gaudete, Vidu, Virtuosi, Encore, and their two most recent, Experience and A Choraliers Christmas.

The Choraliers achieved fame in Europe by winning the prestigious “Choir of the World” title at the 1991 International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, Wales. During their seventeen international concert tours, the Choraliers have won first prizes in six of Europe’s most prestigious competitions, including Spittal, Austria; Den Haag, Holland; Tallin, Estonia; Miedzyzdroje, Poland; and six trophies at the Gorizia, Italy International Choral Festival. The Choraliers performance at the International Choral Symposium in Choral Music in Rotterdam, Holland in 1999 received wide acclaim for its distinctive timbre and programmatic diversity. In 2001, the Choraliers were one of only ten choirs selected to participate in the Marktoberdorf, Bavaria International Chamber Choir Competition. In 2003, the Choraliers returned to the Spittal Competition where they took second place in the folk division.

West Valley

Lou De La Rosa is the Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at the Bill & Leila Cilker School of Art & Design at West Valley College where he conducts the Chamber Singers and Concert Choir. Mr. De La Rosa has taught music in San José, California for over thirty years, thirteen of which were at Abraham Lincoln High School, a performing arts magnet. He serves the choral music profession as president of the California chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).

Mr. De La Rosa’s choirs have performed throughout the United States and Europe in venues such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall, and have won first place in choral competitions across the United States.

The West Valley College Chamber Singers have performed in concert tours to England & France in 2014, Austria & Czech Republic in 2006, and are very pleased to join the San Jose State University Choraliers on this concert tour of Ireland.