Fresno City Choir Director Holds Last Concert and Retires – The Rampage Online
Fresno City College’s Director of Choral Activities, Julie Dana, performed her final “SING!” in the auditorium of the old administration building on Friday 6 May.
Dana has taught at FCC for 23 years and at her last concert marking her retirement as an instructor, she welcomed over 25 former choir students whom she taught to perform at the event.
Dana tells her former students that they will always be her children, as she expresses her gratitude at the concert to all her family, colleagues, students and her husband Mike Dana, fearing this will be the longest section. of the concert.
“Thank you for always being my support system. For letting me vent, for being my traveling companions, for crying with me, celebrating with me, for bringing chocolate. Thank you for your unconditional love. ” says Dana.
To continue her legacy in college, Dana will part with the Da Capo Music Scholarship as a gift to her students and the FCC Music Department.
“There are few things I can think of that are more rewarding than seeing and hearing you grow as a musician and being part of the team of educated humans. You are the joy, you are the music , you are family, Dana told her students
The scholarship will give freshmen majoring in music the opportunity to begin their studies at FCC.
The auditorium was filled with friends, family and acquaintances, as the applause rang out throughout the night from the singing performances alongside pianist Aarne Kela’s piano instruments, playing songs like “Seasons of Love” by Jonathan Larson.
Throughout the concert, Dana would give brief speeches expressing her inspirations or telling a story of reflections on her background and career between songs.
Dana said that although the night seemed like a goodbye, it is really a celebration of their journey together.
“The loving community that grows around the music is what makes it magical. My journey has been long and confusing at times, but music has made it a journey to find what I love. And although my journey is not over. I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world,” Dana said.
Dana was instrumental in building the FCC’s music program and making it highly regarded throughout the state.
His students have performed in Canada, Europe and at the International Choral Festival in France while performing twice at Carnegie Hall in New York.
At the 11th Annual California All-State Music Education Conference, Dana received the CMEA Pearson/Silver Burdett Choral Educator Award and in 2021, she received the Dr. Bill F. Stewart Achievement of Excellence Award from the State Center Community College District.
“To this day, saying goodbye is a difficult and tear-filled time for me. This is who I am and I’m okay with that,” Dana says.