University Chorale and True Voice concert March 6

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.

Ben Rector to perform on campus in March

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Courtesy Photo)


March 3 at 7 p.m. University Concert Series (UCS) will present a concert in Potter Auditorium. The main performer of the concert will be Ben Rector.

“Ben Rector was chosen because he’s pretty well known and loved on OBU’s campus,” Sarah Claibourn, a UCS co-chair said.

“I had a lot of people asking if UCS could bring him to campus while we were still establishing the concert for the 2017-2018 school year.”

The Gray Havens will be opening for Ben Rector.

“[The Gray Havens] traditionally play at churches and universities,” Melissa Stroud, assistant dean of students: community and leadership engagement said.

“They are a husband and wife team that have amazing storytelling lyrics in their music, so I just thought they would be a good fit as well.”

The 300 free concert tickets sold out quickly.

“It only took three hours for the free 300 student tickets to be gone,” Claibourn said. “We opened the ticket table at 9 a.m. and had students lining up before then. It was very exciting.”

The remaining tickets are available for students and the public to purchase.

“Now we’re selling individual tickets for 10 dollars each for students and then the public tickets are for sale online and they’re $25,” Stroud said.

With a venue capacity of 1800, UCS is hoping for a sold-out concert.

“From a practical standpoint, UCS is expecting a big turn out from the public and the student body,” Claibourn said.

“Ultimately, we want Potter Auditorium to be packed and the concert to be sold out. Success in this concert means that UCS can continue to bring talented artists to Bison Hill.”

UCS hopes this concert will be enjoyed by students across campus.

“We hope to see students across campus come together for a really encouraging, but also energy filled night,” Stroud said.

“It’s going to be a great show and I think they will come together with friend groups. I hope to see RAs bringing their halls and different group clubs on campus coming as groups and making it an experience to have together.”

UCS views the concert as a way to bring the OBU community together.

“Overall, the concert is a great way for students to come together and enjoy a set of amazing music by an incredible artist and this, I believe, will bring OBU’s community closer together,” Claibourn said.

“Sharing concerts with my friends, or soon-to-be-friends, is one of the most bonding experiences. There is just something about standing in a room full of people singing the same song that brings people closer.”

Events like this concert are a way for OBU to connect with students and the surrounding community.

“I’m thankful that OBU as a university provides the opportunity for these types of experiences on campus,” Stroud said.

“It helps build community. It keeps us relevant to our students’ interests because it’s student led. Hopefully it brings in surrounding community to see a little bit about OBU because they’re going to come on campus and have a good experience.”

UCS events are paid for with money from student fees.

“Concerts and UCS events are covered by student fees, so I see it as a service to our students as part of what they’re expecting when they come to OBU, it’s part of the experience,” Stroud said.

UCS is also responsible for other campus events.

“UCS is a student lead organization that puts on multiple events each semester,” Claibourn said.

“Ultimately, our main purpose is to bring great artists to perform on OBU’s campus. However, we also host open mic nights and a trivia night each semester.”