Community Choir of the Valley hosts Patriotic Concert

Conductor Ed Cobb and Community Choir of the Valley sing “West Side Story Medley” at the 10th Anniversary Patriotic Concert at The Well Community Church. (Photo by Hannah-Grace Leece, Clovis Roundup)

July 1, 2024 — Hundreds gathered at The Well Community Church auditorium on Friday, June 28th, for the annual Patriotic Concert hosted by Community Choir of the Valley.

This concert, however, was a much larger celebration for the choir than usual – they were celebrating a decade of singing with the choir and conductor Ed Cobb.

A sea of red, white, and blue fabric crowded the foyer of the church at 6:20, 40 minutes before the concert would even begin. But that time was of no concern to the attendees of the event, who anxiously anticipated the evening performance.

The front desk in the foyer displayed beautiful decorations corresponding with the theme of the event thanks to Board Member Jennifer Hanson, who is in charge of decorating the choir’s events.

Hanson explained that “we want it to be very festive and very welcoming. People know what the theme is, then when they walk in, they know they’re in for a great patriotic concert.”

Crew also stood around the venue, handing out mini-American flags for guests to display their patriotic spirits during the concert.

That patriotic spirit filled the space for the duration of the night – with attendees nearly taking every seat in The Well’s large auditorium space seating 1400, it was clear that the choir held a significant place in the Clovis community and that of the Valley overall.

Once the choir members started to enter the stage, more numbers were added to the sea of patriotic colors being sported throughout the evening. Different parts of the choir wore colors corresponding to their sections, forming a human-filled American Flag up on stage.

Debbie Cobb, wife of conductor Ed Cobb and member of the Board for the choir, expressed her heart for the choir members. She stated, “It’s a great community. It’s a non-audition choir, and people come from all over, a lot of them have sung in church choirs or college choirs.”

The night began with an interactive piece of music, with the choir inviting guests to sing a classic – The Star-Spangled Banner.

This was followed by the Patriot’s Song Medley, combining songs such as Yankee Doodle, You’re a Grand Old Flag, and Columbia, The Gem of the Ocean. Next came the ardent “America, I Still Can Hear Your Song,” a heartfelt tribute to freedom and liberty in America.

Heartfelt laughter could be heard from the crowd as the music turned to a West Side Story Medley and a few choir members brought out caps from behind their seats, a welcome surprise while they began singing “I Feel Pretty.”

Later came the My Old Kentucky Home, a musical arrangement of The Gettysburg Address, and a blend of God Bless the U.S.A. and America, the Beautiful.

The moment the patriotic spirit of the night truly came to life was found in the Salute to the Armed Forces. Before the medley of military anthems began, Cobb requested that all service members current and past come up to the front to sing their military service songs.

Over 50 men and women from the Armed Forces surrounded the stage, singing “Army Goes Rolling Along,” “Semper Paratus,” “Anchors Away,” and songs for the Air Force and Marine Corps.

This year, there was a special addition to the arrangement – Semper Supra, the song for the Space Force.

After the service men and women made their way back to their seats, members of the Trail Life – CA Troop 9423 handed out handmade hearts with various patriotic designs for all of the servicemembers.

Hanson mentioned that the arrangement was her personal favorite from the collection of songs from the evening. She stated, “It is just so moving to see all these men who may or may not have been honored in that way before, and I just think it’s a wonderful thing for them, and some of them who didn’t even know that that was going to happen.”

The evening was concluded with “God Bless America” and the conductor thanking everyone for a wonderful evening. Looking forward, the choir is excited for their fall performance, the Sacred Songs concert happening on October 20th at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.