The Orange County Women's Chorus will fill a Huntington Beach church Saturday evening with a medley of Asian sounds.
The chorus' one-night performance titled "Eastern Portraits" at St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church will span different cultures and musical generations from across Asia, ranging from Chinese folk songs to rocking dance numbers inspired by Bollywood films.
"This will be a colorful, exciting, noisy concert, with a splendid reception afterward," said Eliza Rubenstein, OCWC's artistic director who also directs choral and vocal activities at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.
"Our past concert themes have run the gamut from 'Six Centuries of Girl Groups' to 'Banned Books Set to Music,'" she added. "But in nearly 15 years, we'd never performed a concert of Asian music."
The concert will include contemporary works from Chen Yi and British composer Gustav Holst. The choir will perform Holst's renditions of poetry by Kalidasa, a fourth century Sanskrit writer.
"Naturally, there's an incredible wealth of musical history and tradition from South and East Asia," Rubenstein said. "We'll be singing a range of songs representing several countries and regions. We happen to have a handful of members, and an accompanist, who are fluent in a variety of Asian languages, which made our journey through this repertoire all the more accessible and interesting."
The show will also feature the premiere of Ethan Sperry's arrangement of the Bollywood hit "Barso Re." The work for treble repertoire is the OCWC's annual commission.
"When Ethan Sperry agreed to create one of his trademark Bollywood arrangements for us, the theme was set," Rubenstein said.
Members of Jodaiko, UC Irvine's taiko drumming ensemble, will join OCWC, along with two members of Zamana, UCI's Bollywood dance troupe. Percussionists Angie Tabor and Erik Leckrone will also play instruments from around the world.
In its 14th year as a performing ensemble, the OCWC, which rehearses at Newport Harbor Lutheran Church in Newport Beach, is now among Southern California's acclaimed amateur choruses.
It was one of 14 choruses from five states selected to sing at the American Choral Directors Assn.'s 2012 Western Division Conference, held earlier this month in Reno. The women sang in front of 800 choral directors.
The chorus is comprised of women, whose ages range from 21 to post-retirement.
Interested singers with choral experience and music-reading ability can contact the OCWC at email@example.com.
"The OCWC is open to talented women of all ages, and we welcome new members every year," she said.
If You Go
What: The Orange County Women's Chorus performs "Eastern Portraits"
Where: St. Wilfrid of York Episcopal Church, 18631 Chapel Lane, Huntington Beach
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Cost: General admission tickets are $25; students and seniors pay $20; discounts available for groups of 10 or more.
To buy tickets: Go to ocwomenschorus.org/hear-us