Bringing people together through music – that’s the driving force behind everything Sebastian Moreno does as choir director of the McLaughlin College Community Choir.
After completing his undergrad in music, Moreno is now a master’s student in York University’s music department. With an impressive repertoire of musical abilities, including proficiency in multiple instruments (voice, piano, organ, guitar, clarinet, saxophone, cello and bass), Moreno maintains an active career as a choir director, performer and educator. He’s also the co-founder of the popular annual Media Music Concert at York.
Moreno is passionate about music; but it doesn’t end there. For him, the power of music lies in its ability to unite students and ignite within them a strong sense of community.
“I love the idea of bringing people and musicians together,” said Moreno. “To share something is important – that’s why we do what we do. As director, I help people to express their own creativity in a group.”
For the McLaughlin College Community Choir, the only prerequisite to join is passion, not ability. The choir is made up of students, faculty and staff who love to sing, and was founded to revive a long history of music at the public policy college. Their hard work during the Fall term led to the choir’s first-ever performance, which took place on Dec. 4, 2019.
Prior to the show, Moreno was asked to reflect on the choir and their upcoming debut performance.
“The choir has a high magnitude of excitement for the performance,” he said. “This may be their first time singing and performing, and they have worked very hard and are excited to get out in the community.”
Moreno is committed to development community within the group, and developed the choir with a concept he calls the 3 Es: engagement, education and empowerment.
“These are our goals,” he said.
The performance was held at McLaughlin College in the Senior Common Room and coincided with the annual holiday potluck, which saw an audience at maximum capacity. The choir performed four pieces that featured a selection of winter songs, including Christmas carols, English madrigals and jazz classics, all set to the background of live piano. During the performance, choir members dressed in red to mark the festive occasion, and were met with a round of applause at the program’s conclusion.
The MCCC has exciting performances lined up at a number of other annual college activities, such as the First Year Student Dinner on Jan. 22 and Robbie Burns Night and Poetry Contest on Jan. 25.
The choir will be accepting new members, who can contact Moreno about joining and attending the weekly Wednesday rehearsals between 4:30 and 6 p.m. at McLaughlin College. No audition and no prior choir experience are required to join. Moreno can be reached at email@example.com.
To support the McLaughlin College Community Choir, consider donating at https://mclaughlin.laps.yorku.ca/music/the-mclaughlin-college-community-choir-and-the-mclaughlin-college-music-fund/.
This story was written by York University students Emmanuel John and Gil Segev