SOUTH COUNTY - Amador Ramirez is one of 80 members of Monterey Voices who has been invited to sing at the 2012 Olympics. Now, Ramirez, who lives in Greenfield and was born in King City, is currently raising money to make the trip.
"We have been invited as the delegation to represent America at the 2012 Olympics as a choir," said Ramirez. "We're going to be singing in front of the world."
Ramirez said six choirs in the world are set to go. Among the Monterey Voices group, he said his talent is a rarity. "I'm a first tenor," said Ramirez. "Our voices are rare, especially having a male voice."
Conducting the choir will be Sean Boulware. The group leaves July 29, and they will return Aug. 6. Ramirez said that once the group gets to London, they will sing at a cathedral, where the royal family is expected to attend.
"We were notified the beginning of this year," said Ramirez. Since then, the group's 80 members that will travel have been making plans and raising money to attend. Additionally, they have been practicing every Monday at the Cypress Community Church.
"We go through all the music that we're going to be singing just specifically for the Olympics," said Ramirez.
The group recently performed at the Sunset Center in Carmel, where Ramirez said they had three standing ovations. Their lineup included songs that they plan for the Olympics.
During the Olympics, the group is scheduled to sing before 30,000 people. When asked if he has ever performed in front of a huge audience, Ramirez said, "I have never sung with that many people in my life. The last time I sang was at the Golden State Theater. The whole theater was packed and it was a wonderful event. It was maybe about 200 people."
Of the opportunity, Ramirez said, "For me, to sing in front of the world and be able to go to the Olympics means the world to me."
Ramirez noted his community sentiment by saying, "I don't feel like I'm just going; I'm taking everybody with us. In a spiritual sense, we're all going. The hard-working farm labor communities are working six days a week in the fields." He went on to say, "They don't have the opportunity to go sing in a choir, but I do and I'm taking everybody with me, in a sense.
In regard to the fundraising, Ramirez said, "The majority of the trip has been paid for. We're still accepting donations as a group to go. Our breakfasts and lunches are paid for, but our dinner isn't paid for, so we have to come up with our own expenses. The reason I'm asking for donations, is I don't have the money for my plane ticket."
Ramirez's plane ticket will cost $1,400. Other members of the choir are also raising money for their travel expenses. The total costs for his trip will be around $3,000. "I just need that plane ticket to get there," said Ramirez.
"People have helped already," Ramirez added. "I'm amazed and shocked by how much love they showed."
When asked about how he learned to sing, Ramirez said, "I had an ex-girlfriend that would sing to me. I would be moved by it, and I would sing to her. I knew I had a voice. When I was going to San Jose State as an art major, I decided to take a voice fundamentals course. I learned how to sing, vocal diction, poise and basic techniques of how to sing, and from there I fell in love with singing. I didn't take any high school classes or any vocal support until my 30s. It makes me so happy to sing."
For the complete article see the 06-20-2012 issue.
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