Inside look at True Voice and University Chorale

By Olivianna Calmes, Contributing Writer

Oklahoma Baptist University music groups University Chorale and True Voice have sung their way into our hearts.

University Chorale was started in 1963 and its goal has remained: “to present advanced choral literature to the OBU campus and community.”

True Voice, however, is comprised of 12 mixed voices “intended to serve as a high-profile musical ambassador of Oklahoma Baptist University. The ensemble performs literature (primarily a cappella) encompassing a variety of musical styles, including but not limited to classical, contemporary, pop, jazz, country, gospel and spirituals,” according to the official OBU website.

Both groups have gained popular standing at OBU and have attracted the attention of students as well as people outside of the school.

“Being in Chorale is such a unifying experience, and the opportunity to work alongside such talented individuals continues to amaze me,” Megan McCoy, family and community service major and education minor said.

Each led by Burton H. Patterson professor of music and choral director Dr. Brent Ballweg, the choirs have individual strengths and goals.

“[True Voice] travels a lot around Oklahoma, [particularly the] Oklahoma City area,” OBU sophomore Psychology major and Music Education minor and member of True Voice, Kalyne Henrichsen said. “We perform at churches, schools, and we help with recruiting for OBU,” she said.

“It’s great because we have a tight-knit community, and we practice at least one or twice a week, so we see each other a lot.”

“[Chorale] do[es] several different types of events throughout the year including church outings, concerts at OBU, we sing in chapel, tour around several states during a spring tour, and this year Chorale is traveling to NYC to perform at Carnegie Hall,” McCoy said.

If students want to get involved, they can begin the audition process.

“To audition [for True Voice], you pick a thirty-second portion from a song and sing it for Dr. Ballweg, and then he’ll have you sight read,” she said. “Then, [you sing] some interval parts. It is very chill and then there are callbacks a week later where you learn a small song and he sees how your voice blend[s] with other people.”

Participating also presents scholarship and travel opportunities. Both Henrichsen and McCoy emphasized they love that students don’t have to be a music major; anyone can join. There are other positive aspects to joining one of the groups.

“Anyone looking to better themselves as a musician should consider auditioning for Chorale,” McCoy said. “The directors [here] always try to make a point to help us to connect the songs to our relationship with God and how we can evangelize to people through the way that we sing and show Christ in the way that we do music,” she said.

“Their group strives to show an impression of Christ in the way that they perform and carry themselves,” Henrichsen said.

University Chorale’s next performance will be April 22nd at 3 p.m. for their “University Chorale and Friends Spring Concert” in Potter Auditorium.

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