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Fine Arts concerts show off all ensemble levels

November 8, 2017

In the middle of October, various fine arts ensembles of all levels performed musical pieces. The concert series consisted of choir performances on Oct. 16, orchestra on Oct. 19, and band on Oct. 25.

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Choir Concert

Circumnavigating different eras and locales across the globe, the Fall Choral Concert’s diverse programming was accented with modern arrangements of classic songs and guest accompanists.

Held in St. Luke’s Church, the six choirs from all three divisions performed, from fourth grade students in St. John’s Singers to seniors in Kantorei and Chorale. Two soloists, oboist Brian Briones and violinist Dominika Dancewicz, added to the performances.

Traditional hymns “Ave maris stella” (Grieg) and “Der. 42 Psalm” (Mendelssohn) contrasted with jazz arrangements of “Old MacDonald” (Emerson) performed by St. John’s Singers and Chorale’s “John the Revelator” (Caldwell and Ivory).

“One of the things as a department that we pride ourselves on is teaching our singers to master different styles, types of music, languages and musical eras,” Director of Music Scott Bonasso said. “We try to be give a comprehensive choral education to our students.”

Songs such as “Stories of My Life” (Waggoner) and “Old MacDonald” reflected on childhood experiences in new ways. In “Stories,” St. John’s Singers held copies of their favorite children’s books mentioned in the song, and the classic “MacDonald” was reworked in a jazzy style with acompaniament from Robert Amyx on the drums and Darrell Parrish on the bass. Les Chanteuses used body percussion to add texture to the a capella “Bring Me Little Water, Silvy.”

“I really enjoyed the experience of performing different styles of music,” freshman Les Chanteuses member Gabrielle Solymosy said. “It was fun to hear all the different things we can sing.”

Brendan Emig, director of Cantatores and Les Chanteuses, thought the music matched the choirs’ voices well. “I think it went really well,” Emig said. “I think that both of my choirs did excellent.”

All choirs felt that they performed well despite the fact they lost time due to Harvey, although they did not perform a combined piece.

“Not performing a combined piece gave all of the choirs a bit more flexibility and time to get their own music ready for the concert,” Bonasso says.

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