Singers in the combined choir prepare to perform Handel’s “Messiah.”

For regular fans of Voci Soli —San Bernardino Valley College’s advanced choral ensemble — there may not be too much surprise at the great range of vocal talent that performs the most beautiful and difficult vocal pieces in area concert halls every winter.

One thing they may have found surprising this time around, however, was the addition of students from area high schools into the mix.

To bring George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” to life, the San Bernardino Valley College music department teamed up its advanced ensemble and concert choir with high school students from San Bernardino High School and Granite Hills High School.

Directed by SBVC professor and chair of performing arts Matie Scully, each singer received individualized lessons prior to the performance. “This ensures that each singer can not only sing in a choir but on their own,” Scully said.

Singers perform Handel’s “Messiah” at SBVC on December 16.

The concert was attended by over 100 community members, brought to SBVC’s historic campus from all over the Inland region. Many audience members were alumni.

Audience members listen to the combined choir on December 16.

“It was a great concert filled with festive vibes,” said Gloria Posada, a student from Cal State San Bernardino and SBVC alumna. “They left the audience begging for an encore.”