Choirs usher in Christmas with
Concert featured student conductors, student soloists and world languagesBy AUDREY MONTGOMERY
Every year, Georgetown College’s Concert Choir hosts a Holiday Concert. Some years, the concert consists simply of Handel’s “Messiah.” This year, however, was different. The first half of the concert consisted of old favorites, student conductors, and scripture passages put to music.
The College Chorale began the concert by singing three songs: Randall Thompson’s “Glory to God in the Highest,” Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium” and the classic carol “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Dr. Campbell left his usual position of conductor so that student conductors senior Michael Cannon, sophomore Evan Harrell and senior Daniel Ng, could show off their skills. The student conductors led their fellow Chorale members flawlessly. “Glory to God in the Highest” was a great setting of the well-known scripture, the harmony in “O Magnum Mysterium” was beautifully goosebump-inducing and the arrangement for “Angels We Have Heard on High” was a new twist on a beloved favorite.
The College Chorale finished their performance, and Concert Choir readied themselves onstage. Dr. Campbell resumed his place as conductor, and they began to sing Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms.” These were selections from the Psalms sung in Hebrew while translations were provided in the program. The Concert Choir was accompanied by an organ, harp and percussion.
The first selection was taken from Psalms 108 and 100. The joyful lyrics that spoke of singing out praises to God were reflected in the tone of the music.
Psalms 23 and 2 were the featured Psalms in the next selection. Singing the majority of perhaps the most famous Psalm was senior countertenor Chuck Harris. Harris impressed with his vocal range in his solos during Psalm 23, and was joined seamlessly by the rest of the Concert Choir. Psalm 2 started out chant-like with the basses and tenors, who were later accompanied by the angelic voices of the sopranos and altos. Harris finished off this selection with a soft reprise from the final stanza of Psalm 23.
The third and final piece from the “Chichester Psalms” was taken from Psalms 131 and 133. This section featured a solo quartet consisting of soprano Elizabeth Levay, alto Caitlyn Kogge, tenor John Presson and bass Travis Mazurek. The organ opened on the piece sounding eerily beautiful and somber. The tone of the lyrics was solemn, sincere and pleading. The harp was showcased very nicely in this piece by a short interlude consisting only of organ and harp. The quartet blended very well.
When the “Chichester Psalms” were finished, Dr. Campbell asked for the audience’s indulgence while the percussion instruments and the harp were removed from the stage. Cannon, tenor, and Ng, bass, joined Concert Choir onstage.
The “Messiah” consists of several solo and choral pieces. These were blended together very well by featuring strong soloists and flawless choral performances.
Cannon opened the performance with two beautiful solos. The organ accompaniment was subtle but cheerfully fitting. Concert Choir joined Cannon in singing with rounds and sections to showcase each vocal part.
Ng followed with a solo that spoke of the Messiah’s coming. It was distinguished by several well-executed runs.
Following Ng was Harris, performing a solo usually for women. This solo questions the worthiness of people to stand before the Messiah and was performed splendidly by Harris.
The sopranos opened the next choral section and were followed by the basses, tenors and altos, respectively. This piece showed how the Messiah would purify the tribe of Levi for an offering of righteousness.
Senior Haley Howard, alto, sang the next two solos which spoke of the virgin birth of Jesus. The organ during this piece was very light and bubbly. Concert Choir joined Howard toward the end of her solo.
Being featured again in another two solos was Ng who, amidst creepy organ accompaniment, showcased his lower register with several runs as he sang of seeing light in the darkness.
Then Concert Choir sang the famous “For unto us a Child is Born.” The sopranos once again sounded like an angel choir. The several runs and different vocal sections were gorgeous and was one of the most beautiful moments of the performance.
Levay then used her amazing soprano voice to tell the audience the story of the shepherds learning that the Messiah had been born. The Concert Choir joined her as the angelic hosts singing to the shepherds in their fields. The goosebumps returned. Soprano Sable Floyd, senior, performed the next solo to perfection. Her fluid range is always a joy to hear. Singing alto, Kogge told of the wonders that would come as a result of the Messiah coming to Earth. The final two solos, performed by Harris and Howard, respectively, both had a very peaceful and comforting tone to them.
Everyone in the audience rose to their feet for the finale, the very famous “Hallelujah” Chorus—an excellent finale to an amazing concert.
Art students’ curatorial projects
By HILLARY JONES
When you think of art, you most likely think of things like paintings, sculptures, and photographs. However, as students in the Curatorial Studies class have learned, art can be more than just visual; it can be seen and heard.
Each student in the class was asked to compile oral history projects focused on people in their lives. The idea for this project came from a variety of places, including the works of authors Studs Terkel and Harvey Pekar, as well as a blog and journal by Dr. Gladys Haddad from Case Western Reserve and an oral history project she had given to her own students.
Until this point, students had only been curating objects but, for this project, they had to develop a different skill set. “Foremost in this project was the transition for the students from curating objects (such as sculpture on campus or objects from the GC archives, permanent collection of art, and theatre department props) to virtual curation,” says Dr. Juliee Decker, who teaches Curatorial Studies. Dr. Decker also states that working with virtual media can have its pros and cons, “There were plusses and minuses of dealing with the digital realm: plusses include dthe ability to keep a record of the conversation; the ability to edit repeatedly, and the ability for others to hear and comment on our work. Minuses included the need to work with a new program (Audacity); the complications that arise when working with technology; and the very public nature of this project—now.”
Beyond learning the technical aspects of working in digital curation, students also made projects that allowed them to experience a personal connection with their subjects. Dr. Decker states, “the project offered the students the opportunity to spend time with a person, discuss one or many topics face-to-face, and to listen to another individual. There were very few limitations placed on the student in terms of who to select for their interview. They chose a parent (as a way to learn about the student’s father, who is deceased), a former co-worker, a high school Calc and a high school English teacher and a grandparent.”
The finished work from these projects can be seen, or rather, heard, on the Georgetown College Visual Art Department’s blog, found at http://gcva.blogspot.com.
Students of voice sing for President CrouchBy VICTORIA ENGELHARDT
Beautiful singing could be heard at President and Mrs. Crouch’s house last Monday night, as many of the students of vocal teachers Dr. Heather Hunnicutt and Dr. Rebecca Miller showed off some of the repertoire they have been working on this semester. Twenty students, including seniors Sable Floyd, Chuck Harris, Michael Cannon, Rae Dunn and Daniel Ng, juniors Arielle Evans, Victoria Engelhardt and Caitlyn Kogge, sophomores Molly Shoulta, Becca Bowery, Nathan Van Til, Shakir Mackey, Lauren Siegel and Liz Maines and freshmen Caitlin Knox, Shay McCleavy, Brittany Glancy, Morgan Fralick, Collin Smith and Rachel Floyd sang selections ranging from Handel to the modern-day musical “Children of Eden” by Steven Schwartz. They were accompanied by staff accompanist Lori Smith and student accompanists Daniel Ng, Meredith Rigby and Rachel Madden.
The Students of Voice recital is the culmination of months of hard work put in by voice majors, minors and electives and is one of the few opportunities where all singers have the chance to hear each other show off their talents. “It’s a fun event where freshmen can look at the upperclassmen for inspiration and seniors can look at their younger colleagues to remember where they have come from,” said Dr. Heather Hunnicutt.
Freshman Shay McCleavy stood out with his rendition of “Jolly Holiday” from the beloved musical Mary Poppins. McCleavy made the typically stuffy recital more fun as he moved around the President’s house, singing to various girls and even picking one to dance with in the midst of his song.
Dr. Hunnicutt, chair of the Music Department and Coordinator of Vocal Studies, started a new tradition on Monday. After the students finished performing, they, along with audience members, stood in a circle and sang the Christmas hymn “Joy to the World.” Dr. Hunnicutt said ending the recital with a sing-a-long was a good way to remind students that even though they usually take singing very seriously, it is still a lot of fun and that is why they love singing in the first place.
This was a great end to a semester full of performances including Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Gondoliers” and several recitals. Stay tuned for an even better semester in the spring, there will be even more recitals and everyone’s favorite performance, Opera Workshop.
The Music Department wishes to thank President and Mrs. Crouch for graciously hosting the students of voice and invites everyone out to the next recital at the end of next semester.