Concert Choir, Community Chorus entertain at Arts Center

Professor of music Sandy Schaefer plays the bongo to accompany the Chadron State College Concert Choir Sunday at the Chadron Arts Center. —Photo by Brianna Wilson

Professor of music Sandy Schaefer plays the bongo to accompany the Chadron State College Concert Choir Sunday at the Chadron Arts Center. —Photo by Brianna Wilson

The late afternoon sun filtered through the stained glass windows of the Chadron Arts Center as the audience of roughly 154 entered for the Concert Choir and Community Chorus performances Sunday.
The choir, under the direction of Una Taylor, music professor and department chair, was uniform in appearance, the men sporting black pants, white shirts and a tie, while the women wore all black.
The first piece they performed was “Hallelujah, Amen,” by George Frideric Handel, a joyful song about the victories against the Seleucids who were trying to abolish the Jewish religion. The second piece, “The May Night,” by Johannes Brahms, was a more classical piece, slightly slower than the first.
In a rather drastic contrast, “Animal Crackers, Volume 1,” by Eric Whitacre was upbeat. The three different parts, “The Panther,” tense and suspenseful; “The Cow,” slower and less dramatic; and “The Firefly,” quick and sporadic, were each unique and conjured images of each animal.
Sunday, Nov. 6, the Men’s Ensemble performed “The Pasture,” by Thompson, and Sunday the Community Chorus performed the same song, but as a different arrangement. Sunday’s version was written by Z. Randall Stroope.
Flute ensemble instructor Laura Stephens accompanied the chorus on flute for “Rise Up, My Love, My Fair One,” by James McCray.
The last song, “Praise His Holy Name!” by Keith Hampton felt like a hymn but it was energetic and light-hearted with the members clapping and dancing along with the tune.
Once the Community Chorus finished, the Concert Choir, under the director of Joel Schreuder, music professor, took the stage.
“It was one of their (the community chorus’) better performances, they sang with joy,” Taylor said. “Community members who love to sing and the students who are in the choir get to interact with the community members; they enjoy the musical experience, they all do their best. In the end, they create a great product.”
Ann Sundberg, of Chadron, joined the Concert Choir on cello for the first piece, “In the Night We Shall Go In,” by Imant Raminsh. The cello added a unique and appealing bass sound to the song, in addition to the baritone and soprano of the choir.
The following piece, “The Prairies,” by Edwin Fissinger, had four movements which Schreuder fluidly moved between.
“The Swing,” by David von Kampen involved more elaborate piano pieces, including a few unique solos.
Sandy Schaefer, music professor, joined the choir on the bongo in “Caballo Vicjo,” by Simón Diaz, arranged by Rolando Brenes Rojas. The title means ‘old horse’ and the song sings of love.
“Dravidian Dithyramb,” by Victor Paranjoti continues similar sounds from the previous song.
The dynamics of the choir moved fluidly between soft and loud.
The Concert Choir, like the Community Chorus, ended their performance with a gospel piece that was upbeat. During “The Storm is Passing Over,” by Charles Albert Tindley, arranged by Barbara W. Baker, Enrico Collins, sophomore of Colorado Springs, Colorado, gave his own little tune to the song, giving it a true gospel feel.
The audience seemed to enjoy both the Concert Choir and the Community Choir, offering both enthusiastic applause with whoops and whistles.

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