My criteria: It’s completely subjective. I just like how these stories came out. For some, it was the fun in reporting them, and for others the joy in writing them. (Note: Because of my hybrid year — working through May as the Fresno Bee’s arts reporter, and the remainder of the year in my new role at The Munro Review — you’ll find stories from both platforms.) Here they are in chronological order:
Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale offers a concert marking the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II
Anna Hamre and her illustrious singers in the Fresno Community Chorus Master Chorale knew they wanted to mark an important date: the 75th anniversary of when U.S. citizens of Japanese descent were forced into internment camps during World War II. But how would the programming for such a concert work?
Unlike past recent concerts by the chorale — which has tackled such provocative themes as the Armenian genocide and Alzheimer’s disease — there wasn’t a particular composition or cultural body of music that would work in terms of repertoire.
“These were Americans that were put in concentration camps,” says Hamre, the ensemble’s musical director. “It’s not like we could just do ‘their’ music. They were listening to swing bands back then, just like everyone else.”
But then came an idea: How about a program that included a modern-day version of the Latin Requiem, and then a piece that exemplifies healing and joy?