FARMINGTON - The Caliente Community Chorus presents its spring concert Tuesday at the Totah Theater.

This will be the choir's final full concert until next fall, and it will perform New Mexico and western songs in honor of the state's centennial.

Caliente was created in 2006 by Piedra Vista Choral Director Virginia Nickels-Hircock and Robyn Woodard.

"Virginia one day told me, "I just want to wave my arms in the air, I want to direct,'" said Woodard, who also serves as the choir's piano accompanist. "So we said, "let's do something about it,' and Caliente was created. It's been great to see how happy people are when they're performing, and the choir really is so much fun."

Because Caliente is open to anyone 16 and older, it's made up of singers with a wide range of ages and backgrounds.

P.J. Gillen, a respiratory therapist, has been involved in the community theater scene in Farmington for the past five years. This was Gillen's first year with Caliente, and she has found the chorus offers a positive creative outlet.

"I am not a natural singer and was never in a choir before," she said. "The great thing about Caliente is that I've learned more about my voice and how it works with other voices.

"Virginia expects a lot out of you, and takes you to a higher level of expertise. Whether you want to sing better in church choir or just for your own enjoyment, she raises your expectations of what your voice can do and makes you a better vocalist."

Nickels-Hircock acknowledges that she has high expectations of her singers, and that she pushes them to excel vocally.


"I try not to be too pushy, but I have a real respect for the choral arts, and I always feel like people can do better," she said.

In addition to songs like Western classics "Home on the Range," and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," Tuesday's concert will have a "rose" theme, and the choir will perform songs in French, Spanish and Latin.

Caliente is nearing the end of this year's season and does not meet during the summer, but those interested in joining the chorus can do so when it starts back up in the fall.

The spring concert is 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Totah Theater, 315 W. Main Street, in Farmington. There is no charge for the concert, but donations for the Caliente scholarship program are welcome.

Caliente also performs April 21 at the First United Methodist Church with the Albuquerque Civic Chorus.

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