Cerritos College’s Director of Vocal Studies improves students singing

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Abraham Venegas

Professor Anna DeMichele sits inside her music department office. DeMichele is the Cerritos College Director of Vocal Studies.

Abraham Venegas and Abraham Venegas

Professor Anna DeMichele, the Cerritos College director of vocal studies, is helping students discover their true singing voice.

“Not everyone will become a doctor or lawyer but everyone has a voice,” DeMichele said.

There are no auditions necessary to be part of the Cerritos College choir.

Anyone with a interest in singing can join, but DeMichele recommends students take vocal classes prior to joining the choir.

She explained that there is a difference between singing normally than in a choir.

Choir requires a specific kind of singing in each person.

“You’re going to be assigned a particular part like the base part or tender part. You have to sing your part and maintain while other people are singing their part so that there is a harmony that is involved,” DeMichele said.

Choirs sing different styles of music, DeMichele commented.

“There are jazz choirs. They’re usually smaller (eight or 10 people) because jazz musicians use small combos,” DeMichele said.

When teaching singing, DeMichele’s philosophy is, “We all are born with a voice and my strict philosophy is that everyone can sing.

“Not everyone will become a professional singer, and that’s just a way of life, but everyone has a voice.”

Two of DeMichele’s students, computer science major NJ Flores and nursing major Ron Kurdova, expressed why they joined choir.

“I thought it would be a good experience to sing to my friends and get started singing with a group,” Flores said.

Kurdova said, “A friend introduced me (to choir). My friend was like ‘You know what, you should join choir. That’s how it happened.”

DeMichele’s teaching has improved Kurdova and Flores’ singing.

“I took her voice class and definitely has help me with a breathing and posture,” Kurdova said.

Flores commented, “She taught us proper technique to strengthen our voices, to get the basics down so we can improve.”

The choir won’t have a event until Nov. 13.

The choir will perform along with the school band and close the fall semester with a holiday show in December.

DeMichele’s interest in music inspired her to become a choir teacher.

“I fell in love with everything that had to do with music,” DeMichele said.

She said the growth of the Cerritos College choir is her biggest accomplishment.

“I started with about 15 or 20 students in a small group, and right know there are over 130 students (in the choir),” she said.