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SLO United concert brings 18 local choral groups together for virtual performances 

SLO-United chorus
–Singers across the county have been missing the camaraderie that comes with rehearsing and performing together, so they have come together to create one collaborative choral experience amidst a digital landscape. Virtual tickets are now available for SLO United: A Collaborative Choir Concert on Friday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m.

SLO United is the brainchild of Scott Glysson, Director of Choral Activities and Vocal Studies at Cal Poly, and John Knutson, the Director of Choral and Vocal Jazz Program at Cuesta College. They reached out to choral groups all over SLO County, and 18 groups signed up to participate. All groups were required to comply with county regulations regarding recording performance pieces; schools with educational waivers followed very strict protocols to rehearse and record ensembles in person.

“There’s a reason people choose to be in a choir,” said Knutson. “You could sing alone anywhere, but with a choir, the community is built-in. It’s even more important these days to get and keep people connected. This concert is for both our singers and our community. It’s not the same choral experience you’re used to, but this celebrates that we’re still here.”

In addition to the choirs submitting their pieces, the concert features one piece that includes all 250 singers. “I Dream a World,” composed by David Brunner with lyrics from the famous Langston Hughes poem, significantly speaks to our times while providing students with an educational insight into the Harlem Renaissance. Against the backdrop of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, the group wanted to choose a song that acknowledged the social justice issues in our country and was accessible to a wide range of singers.

“The SLO United concert is a statement of perseverance,” Glysson said. “There’s a symbiotic relationship between performers and the audience, so it’s a bit awkward and a big effort to turn this kind of art into a virtual performance, but it will be completely worth it.”

By the end of this process, Dave Becker will have dedicated close to 100 hours compiling and editing this cumulative effort. Becker, who has edited multiple virtual concerts during the last seven months, teaches Recording Arts, Music Appreciation Recording Arts, Saxophone & Clarinet at Cuesta College, and applied jazz saxophone at Cal Poly.

The concert is free because the organizers want access to the arts for everyone. Donations collected from this concert will first go toward production costs. The rest will be sent to the SLO County Office of Education to share the gift of music with the young and inspiring performing arts students in the local community. Especially during this difficult time, the producers especially appreciate when community members choose to give.

For free ticket registration:
For a suggested donation of $5:
To donate separately:

SLO United includes performances by

  • Cal Poly PolyPhonics
  • Cal Poly Women’s Chorus
  • Cal Poly Chamber Choir
  • Cal Poly University Singers
  • Cuesta Voce
  • Cuesta Chamber Singers
  • Cuesta Concord Chorus
  • Templeton High School Mixed Choir
  • Canzona Women’s Ensemble
  • Los Osos Middle School Stage Choir
  • Moro Bay High School Concert Choir
  • San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble
  • Central Coast Youth Chorus
  • San Luis Obispo High School
  • Laguna Middle School
  • Atascadero Middle School Concert Choir
  • Atascadero High School Choirs
  • Atascadero Fine Arts Academy Choir



About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at