Choral Society to give debut performance
|Choral Society members Kris Szovati, left, Deborah Abbot, Linda Braun and Lindsey Martin prepare for their debut performance. Photos by Jordan Clary||Liudmila Mullin, right, conductor of the choral society, leads the soprano and alto section of the choral society as they rehearse for the Christmas concert. Gabe Szovati accompanies them on piano.|
Nov. 20, 2012 — Lassen County residents will soon have an opportunity to enjoy the latest addition to our community's burgeoning musical scene: the Susanville Choral Society. In August the Susanville Symphony Board approved the formation of the choir with Liudmila Mullin conducting. Their first rehearsal was in September, and this December they will debut with the symphony at its annual Christmas concert.
“We're trying to create something that will grow,” said Mullin. “The choir provides something new for the orchestra, something new for the community. Even though we have choirs in almost every church, they're smaller choirs. A community choir is completely different. We plan to do all types and styles of music, from Baroque to contemporary. I don't want to lock us into just one type.”
Many locals are familiar with Mullin, a mezzo-soprano who frequently sings solos with the symphony. Born in a small village on the steppes of the Ural Mountains, the heartland of the Soviet Union, she received her musical education at St. Petersburg State University. She has traveled and performed with several vocal ensembles throughout Russia, Europe and the United States. During one of her U.S. tours she met, and eventually married, Matt Mullin, a local resident, and now makes her home in Janesville where she teaches voice and intermediate piano, as well as continuing to perform. She credits her husband for coming up with the idea for a choir.
“At the moment I thought, I don't know, but after some time, I fell in love with the idea. My education is vocal. I know voice and how to help singers if they are struggling, and I do have prior experience working with conductors and working in choirs. I love working with singers and I teach privately, but I wanted something bigger.”
The Susanville Choral Society proved to be the perfect outlet. Matt is arranging the music for their March concert which, as well as the singers, will include a smaller group of musicians, “a chamber orchestra of sorts,” playing with them. As the Choral Society is new, they are still looking for members and are open to any interested participants.
“We still need singers,” Mullin said. “If someone wants to sing, contact me. Anyone can join who wants to.”
Mullin originally studied Russian literature and linguistics, but soon found the draw toward music irresistible. However, her classical background helped give her a deeper understanding of music, something she continues to apply to her career.
“Whatever you do in life always benefits you, sometimes when you least expect it,” she said. “Any study we do, any book we read, anything we try, sooner or later, it will help. My first education provided me with a very good base and it provided a wide range of knowing the arts, so I have the bigger picture. When I talk about Renaissance I know enough about literature and visual arts of the time that it helps to define what we're doing.”
Although Mullin said her family was not really musical, both her grandmothers loved to sing. She said, “My father's mother had a great voice. I don't know if she realized it. There are some songs I still remember from when I was a kid. It's almost magical because those songs always stay with you.”
It's this magic and passion that forms the groundwork for Mullin's work with the Susanville Choral Society, and it will be exciting to watch them progress as she leads them through various styles of music. Community members who are interested in joining the choral society or in private lessons are encouraged to contact Mullin at 251-6738 or by emailing email@example.com.
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