By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor (Courtesy photo/The Bison)
University Chorale and True Voice will hold a joint concert March 6 in Yarborough Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
University Chorale is OBU’s largest choral ensemble. Their co-performer, True Voice, is an a capella ensemble. Burton H. Patterson professor of music, Dr. Brent Ballweg leads both groups.
True Voice will perform first and both ensembles will perform a wide range of music from a large variety of cultural backgrounds and languages. They will perform the secular pieces “When God Dips His Love,” “Power in Praisin” and “And Can It Be.” True Voice’s secular set includes Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye,” “Once Upon a Time” arranged by OBU alumni Paul Langford and “Salseo.”
The musical selections will include jazz, gospel and hymns.
The second portion of the concert will feature University Chorale, which includes several students who perform in both ensembles. University Chorale’s musical selection will be quite similar in range to True Voice’s selections.
“The University Chorale will present an eclectic program dealing with Spring, nature, and love,” Ballweg said.
University Chorale’s selections will include “L’ultimo di di Maggio,” “Õhtul,” “Dieu! qu’il la fait bon regarder!”, “How do I love thee?” and “Jabberwocky” by Sam Pottle.
“[It] exposes our students to a great variety of musical challenges, musical styles, texts and languages,” Ballweg said.
“It’s a little more secular and we’re doing a lot of foreign texts that I’m excited about,” junior theatre major and music minor, Anna Tyler, said. Learning to sing numerous languages, however, is not an easy task.
“In addition to the Italian, Estonian, French, and English on this concert, for our April concert the University Chorale is also working on pieces in Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, Zulu, Mandarin and Spanish,” Ballweg said.
“The literature can sometimes be kind of challenging, like the music that we sing, so just staying like up to date with it just to make sure that you’re like up to snuff like with the whole choir cause it’s a team effort,” Tyler said.
However, the rehearsal process was also rewarding.
“Being able to ‘own’ these pieces after only five weeks of rehearsal,” Ballweg said. “That’s a real challenge to master the notes and expressive intricacies of the pieces in such a short time.”
Tyler spoke of her experience both rehearsing for the performance and as a two-year member of University Chorale, very positively.
“We’re experiencing more different styles of music, and I think that it’ll be really fun for an audience to see,” Tyler said.
She said the atmosphere in Chorale is highly supportive.
“It’s a lot of fun, and you definitely become a family when your part of Chorale,” she said. “I think singing and music in general are very important because I feel like music has a way of expressing things and emoting emotions that can’t be expressed if they weren’t written in music. It just pulls at your heartstrings in a certain way,” Tyler said.
University Chorale and True Voice’s joint concert provides an opportunity for students to explore some of the emotions that music can both evoke and express. The performance is free and open to the public.