CSC’s Concert Choir and Arioso performed challenging and cultural pieces at the Chadron Arts Center Sunday afternoon.
The women’s vocal ensemble, Arioso, started the afternoon off with tunes based on “The Expression of the Human Existence Through Music” as stated in the program. According to the CSC website, Arioso is a select group of diverse women that include both music and non-music majors that was founded in 2006 and is directed by Una D. Taylor. The group upheld its unique and challenging repertoire Sunday, singing pieces in different languages and adding light choreography to some songs.
The Concert Choir, composed of both men and women, followed the Arioso group with traditional folk songs and some more contemporary works. The Concert Choir has been under the direction of Joel Schreuder since 2002, according to the CSC website. The Concert Choir also was selected to perform at the Nebraska Music Educators Association conference in Lincoln in 2012.
After a day of music at the Arts Center Sunday, CSC Wind Symphony and the Chadron Campus and Community Band performed their final concert of the year Monday in Memorial Hall Auditorium.
The Campus and Community Band, comprised of CSC students, high school students, and Chadron and Alliance residents, performed first. Sidney Shuler, associate professor of music, directed the first three songs, and the last one. His wife and CSC adjunct music faculty member, Pam Shuler, directed the fourth and fifth selections.
The first piece was excerpts from Richard Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger,” arranged by Eric Osterling.
Next came “Action Sonata” by Brian Sadler. CSC alumni Jim Grimes, a retired music teacher, was featured on the tuba in this piece. Grimes, originally from Chadron, has been playing with the Campus and Community band since he moved back in 2004. Over the years he has played euphonium, trombone, and his favorite, the tuba, for the band.
“American Folk Rhapsody” by Clare Grundman followed the sonata.
Mrs. Shuler took over for the next song, “I am” by Andrew Boysen Jr. The song was written in memory of Lynn Jones, a baritone sax player for the Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Prairie High School Band, who died in a car crash in 1990.
Community band member, Wendy Jamison, associate professor of physical and life sciences, read the poem Jones had wrote days before his death, titled “I am,” before playing the piece. Jamison had played the song before, with her high school band.
The song was chilling and suspenseful, with all the instruments coming together to express the doom that awaited.
Next, “El Caballero” by Roger Cichy was a change of pace.
For this piece, Mrs. Shuler said, “Just picture a warm Spanish plain, and what you would see riding across the plain toward you.”
They ended their section of the show with a familiar tune, selections from “The Star Wars Saga” by John Williams, arranged by Michael Story.
After a slight set change, Wind Symphony, also directed by Dr. Shuler, took over. Shuler expressed that the selections would all be marches that night, but there was still a variety, as the songs came from Italy, Belgium, England, and America.
The first song, “Thunder and Blazes” by Julius Fucik, sounded like a circus tune. Jedd Raymond, 21, junior of Ainsworth, said this was the most challenging song to master due to “a lot of fast, technical work.”
Next came two John Philip Sousa pieces, “Esprit de Corps” and “Honored Dead.”
The march from “First Suite in Eb for Military Band” by Gustav Holst, and “Belgian Paratroopers” by Pierre Leemans, arranged by Charles A. Wiley, were next.
After these songs, Shuler had a few words to say about his band, and the seven members that will be graduating this May, before they played the big finale.
“You will probably like this part the most,” he said to the audience, fighting back tears, “but I’m going to like this the least because this will be the last time many of these students will perform on this stage. These students were leaders my first year here.”
The students who will be graduating then presented Shuler with a new baton and engraved baton case.
After the emotional exchange, the audience clapped along as the symphony played “Stars and Stripes Forever,” also by John Philip Sousa. The crowd of about 140 people gave the symphony a standing ovation when the tune ended.