Celebrating V-Day with love and sirens

CNU’s University Chorale and Chamber Choir brought life to the Trible Library

On Friday, Feb. 14, the CNU University Chorale and Chamber Choir performed a Valentine’s Day concert in the Trible Library Rotunda. The choir ensembles were under the direction of conductor and Voice Director of Choral Studies at CNU, Dr. John Irving. This lovely concert lasted 30 hasty minutes and was filled with delightful songs that bewitched the audience. 

There were two main themes for this concert: love and sirens. The University Chorale performed “Liebeslieder-Walzer” movements one, two, six and 11 by Johannes Brahms, which fell into the love theme of the concert. Meanwhile, the Chamber Choir performed “Ave Maris Stella” by John Dunstable, “Miniwanka” (the movement of water) by R. Murray Schafer and “Down to the River to pray” arranged by Philip Lawson, which was under the sirens theme.

During their performance, the Chamber Choir scattered themselves around the rotunda to sing “Miniwanka.” The song required a distinct layout to bring out the harmonious properties of this mystical piece. Even the notation of the music was peculiar. The score contained sketches representing what the piece should sound like using imagery, words and drawings.

The concert also included audience participation. Dr. Irving asked the crowd to vote on the movement the ensemble was going to play for their final piece. The two options were a song that lauded Valentine’s Day while the other celebrated singles awareness day. Surprisingly, the public chose the singles awareness day piece. 

These fantastic concerts take a large portion of the student’s time. The University Chorale has sixty members, and they practice for about three hours a week in rehearsals. All CNU students who are interested in becoming a part of the University Chorale are welcome to join. Another voice ensemble, the Chamber Choir, is made up of fifteen students. They practice slightly more at around four hours a week. On the other hand, performers had to audition in order to become members of the ensemble.

Emma Naomi, a freshman at CNU, is a member of both voice ensembles. She was asked after the concert what her favorite part of the concert was. “Singing “Miniwanka” with the chamber choir. It was a difficult but interesting piece to perform. We were all confused when we first started rehearsing the song, but I think everything came together at the concert!”

The University Chorale and Chamber Choir perform rotunda concerts once a semester as a way of giving “snippets” to the public so they can get a taste of what their longer concerts are like. That being said, their next concert will be on April 23 at Peebles Theater (admission is free). Provide some time in your schedule to come out and support your fellow peers by attending a night of vocal talent. After all, there is nothing better than an evening filled with music.

~Cesar Gonzales-Engelhard, Staff Writer~


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