Choir concert takes on life of its own, as does Faria's 'stache

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comDecember 1, 2012 

Alumni joined junior high and high school singers Wednesday night in a holiday concert that is a 28-year tradition.

The Los Banos High and Junior High students and graduates kicked the show off with "Hope for Resolution," a carol inspired by a civil rights leader and president.

"That was written about 20 years ago for (Nelson) Mandela, at the end of Apartheid in South Africa," director Tom Faria said. "It really is a lot of fun."

The carol was accompanied by a djembe, a goblet-shaped drum. Other carols and hymns were intermittently backed by guitars, piano, violin, trumpet and tuba.

Singers performed a number of lesser known holiday songs, like the Basque "I Saw a Maiden," and "Jazz Gloria" and "The Clouds." However, the concert was replete with Christmas standards, like the Junior High rendition of "White Christmas," written by Irving Berlin.

"He wrote on the lower east side of Manhattan," Faria said. "He was Jewish, and it was interesting to have a Jewish person writing a song about Christmas."

The graduates, who performed the Basque carol, were from classes going back to 2002.

"We have a number of students who just can't get enough choir, which is why we do this," Faria said.

To close the performance, the more than 100 singers united to perform a medley of the holiday classics that hadn't yet been heard.

Students presented Faria with a gift bag on stage after the show. It held a T-shirt depicting a large mustache.

"My mustache has taken on a life of its own," Faria said.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at

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