Showcase on Dustin series returns this weekend

Mike Easterling

FARMINGTON — It’s not often that you can attend a vocal music concert that features songs ranging from African dance tunes to traditional spirituals to sea shanties about drunken sailors.

The Caliente Community Chorus performs during its 2015 cabaret show. The group will be featured this weekend at the First Presbyterian Church as part of the Showcase on Dustin series.

But that’s exactly what’s in store at the latest installment in the Showcase on Dustin series this weekend at the First Presbyterian Church when the Caliente Community Chorus takes the stage.

Director Virginia Nickels-Hircock says the program for the evening will consist of 15 to 18 songs, with five to six songs being performed from three sections. The first section will consist of songs celebrating dance and movement, with those selections being taken from different cultures and periods. The second section will serve as a preview of the chorus’ fall concert, and focuses on spirituals and hymns. The third group is “more rowdy,” Nickels-Hircock said, and includes well-known folk standards, including the early 19th century shanty “Drunken Sailor.”

The entire program is expected to last a little more than an hour, she said.

The chorus’ performance will be the fourth in the Showcase on Dustin series, which got underway in November. The series was organized by First Presbyterian Church Minister Glenn Perica, and local musicians Cathy Pope and Mick Hesse.

Performances take place at the church every two and a half to three months, and a different style of music is showcased at each concert, including classical, chamber and jazz.

Each performance is designed to assist a different local nonprofit organization. Proceeds raised from this event will benefit the Masada House, a Farmington-based nonprofit organization that provides women recovering from substance abuse with a secure home where they can practice the living skills taught to them in treatment.

In addition to serving as an organizer of the series, Pope has been a member of the Caliente Community Chorus for the last five years, and she was the one who approached Nickels-Hircock about having the chorus perform. She is looking forward to this weekend’s performance and believes the chorus will be presenting a program with broad appeal.

“If you don’t like one piece, wait a few minutes,” she said, laughing. “Something else will be coming along.”

This concert will not feature the full Caliente Community Chorus lineup, which includes anywhere from 50 to 60 singers, Nickels-Hircock said. Instead, a smaller group of approximately 35 singers will perform.

The chorus began rehearsing for the Showcase on Dustin concert in early August, she said, and the addition of another show to the chorus’ already-busy slate of six performances a year has been a little stressful.

But Nickels-Hircock, who also serves as a music teacher at Piedra Vista High School, compensated for that by adding material to the program that chorus members were already familiar with so that the singers will be delivering “encore” performances of those songs, she said.

“I’m looking forward to the performance, and we’d love to have a great crowd there,” she said.

The chorus also will perform its annual cabaret show Oct. 8 at the Totah Theater and its annual fall show Nov. 15 at the First Presbyterian Church.

Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.

If you go

What: The Showcase on Dustin concert series featuring the Caliente Community Chorus

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17

Where: The First Presbyterian Church of Farmington, 865 N. Dustin Ave.

Tickets: $10 at the door