The Chamber Choir and University Choir came together on Dec. 8 to perform a unique blend of music in Pease Auditorium. The theme throughout the performance was “Peace on Earth.”
Beth Everett, director of choral activities, said she wanted to present a choral concert that would reflect “thinking outside of the box.” She was excited to include and work with a variety of different instruments, combined with a variety of choral selections.
Carrie Wolfe, a sophomore majoring in Spanish education with a TESOL minor, is a resident advisor who decided to bring her residents with her to the concert.
“I hadn’t been before and decided I wanted to go. It was a lot of fun, and I would absolutely go to another choir concert,” she said.
There was excitement filling the room as the choir members filed onto the stage.
“It was a lot of work but it paid off,” Kyndall Isham, member of Chamber Choir and a vocal performance major, said.
“I really like spirituals because of the hope they convey. Just thinking about the setting in which they were written amazes me, considering how full of truth and hope they are,” Jordan Blanchard, a sophomore majoring in music therapy and member of University Choir, remarked on his favorite song selection, “Walk Together Children.”
A surprise element was added in, allowing the audience to interact with the program. “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” was read on stage in a living room setting and children – young and old – were invited to come up on stage and listen.
Throughout the program, different instruments were added in, creating variety. During “Betelehemu,” Jeffrey Seltzer, Ian Harris, Victoria Rio and Katherine Rogers added a percussion section to the piece. During “Dona Nobis Pacem” from “An American Requiem,” David Shann added his violin to the mixture.
Everett spoke about the uniqueness of “Deep River.” “It was new for both us to do,” she said, referring to professor Woody Chenoweth accompanying the piece by playing saxophone.
Everett was also pleased to recognize one of the members of the University Choir, Jeffrey Nicholas, who composed the piece “World Premier.”
After intermission during one of the songs, people were asked to give their attention to a presentation slideshow prepared by Dominque Williams, choral manager and Chamber Choir member. The focus was kept on the “Peace on Earth” theme.
The final selection was made up of excerpts from “Messiah,” creating a powerful conclusion. Maria Velasquez, a soprano member of Chamber Choir, sang a very impressive and beautiful solo section.
The instruments created a strong sound, with Rose Verlinde and Darren Atiyeh playing the oboe, Mike Block and Zack Fenner playing the trumpet and Jeffrey Setlzer playing the timpani.
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