MSHS teacher completes master’s degree on stage

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Roger Harabedian conducts the Master’s Choir during a master’s recital in choral conducting Friday evening at Madera South High.


Gives recital at Spring Pops Concert Madera South High’s Spring Pops Concert, which was presented Friday in the school’s auditorium, was a success at two levels. It provided the venue for music teacher Roger Harabedian’s master’s recital in choral conducting, while spotlighting MSHS’s Campus Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and a host of vocal solos, all of which aroused the enthusiasm of the audience with their musical quality and professionalism.

Harabedian chose to perform his Master’s Recital at MSHS rather than Fresno State so that he could share the stage with his music students. The program, which was tantamount to a Master’s thesis, was the culminating event in earning his Master’s degree.

The two-hour concert opened with several vocal solos and then turned to Harabedian’s Master’s Choir.

The choir performed “Je Le Vous Dirai” (I’ll Say it Anyway), which centered around a debate as to whether some juicy gossip should be shared.

This was followed by “This Marriage” by Eric Whitacre, and “Dirait On” by Morten Lauridsen.

Harabedian’s Master’s Choir was a select group of singers that he put together specifically for Friday’s performance. Harabedian says he called upon alumni choir members, colleagues from the Fresno Master Chorale, and friends. They all volunteered their time to rehearse and prepare for this concert. He also gave the school’s Chamber Singers the experience of performing some of the challenging music with the Master’s Choir. Some of them volunteered to learn the whole program, according to Harabedian.

Harabedian then brought his MSHS Chamber Singers to perform “Six Choruses for Treble Voices” with the Master’s Choir.

Following the intermission, the MSHS Campus and Concert Choirs sang four pieces and the Chamber Singers performed five numbers.

The concert concluded with performances by the combined MSHS Choirs.

Harabedian supplemented the choral performance with rhythm and brass instruments during parts of the concert.

Nate Grisby was on the drums; Steve Jones bass; Danny Anderson, guitar; John Trujillo (MSHS alum), tenor sax; Bryce Lopez, trumpet; Lucas Romero, trumpet; and Jana Kyung Philips, trombone.

Mark Woods accompanied the choir on the keyboard throughout.

Looking back on Friday’s concert, four things emerged as highlights for Harabedian. He cited the Masters Choir performance of “This Marriage,” by Eric Whitacre. “They really had to follow my conducting, which they did very well,” he said.

Second, Harabedian said he was very pleased with many of the student soloists. “We have some wonderful kids at MSHS, and they demonstrated tremendous talent,” he said.

Third, Harabedian said it was terrific to provide the students the experience of performing with professional instrumentalists, and fourth, “It was a real pleasure to have so many people (students, parents, alumni, and friends) all help to make this event happen.”

Harabedian has been teaching for 27 years, 14 of them at MSHS. He has taught music in grades K through 12. He has taught choir, piano, band, strings, and general music.

He earned his undergraduate degree at Fresno State and did graduate work at the University of Texas and CSU Los Angeles before working on his master’s degree at Fresno State. He earned his teaching credential at Fresno Pacific.