September 23, 2020

Chorale creates cultural concert

By Rachel Boland

The choir experiments with a more diverse repertoire for their concert. (Jason Proleika / Photo Editor)

The melodious voices of the College’s Chorale filled Mayo Concert Hall on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m. as audience members sat captivated by the music.

The choir, comprised of 24 members, sang 10 songs in Greek, Russian, Latin and Slavonic.

Singing an entire concert in different languages was a first for the Chorale, said Courtney Woods, a senior early childhood education and music double major. Many of the singers had to put in extra work to learn the lyrics.

“We couldn’t really read the symbols,” Woods said. “The texts had to be written out.”

During the concert, the translated lyrics were projected onto a screen behind the students. Pictures of religious figures like Jesus and Mary were also shown to go with the religious theme of the music.

For most of the songs, the choir was arranged so that the different sections, sopranos, tenors, altos and basses were mixed together.

The only exception was the piece “Magnificat” by Arvo Part, where the choir members were organized by section because of the difficulty of the song.

One of the audience members, Corinne Petersen, a junior special education and English double major, said that the integration of the different languages made the concert more lively.

She was especially excited for the second song, “Spaseniye Sodelal (Salvation is Created)” by Pavel Chesnokov.

“Every language has its own music so I think it’s a really interesting experience when you listen to music that is beautiful (with) the added layer of a different language,” Petersen said.

Lorena Limato, a senior music education major, favored the last piece,

“Totus Tuus (Totally Yours)” by Henryk Górecki. Limato appreciated the ending of the piece because it “came down and focused you in.”

“The harmonic material of it sometimes could be very consonant and melodic,” Limato said. “There were other times when the notes would clash with each other on purpose, making the hair on your neck stand up. I liked it.”

The choir was conducted by guest conductor Richard Tang-Yuk. Tang-Yuk has over 30 years of experience conducting and is temporarily replacing the usual conductor of the TCNJ Chorale, John P. Leonard, who is on sabbatical.

Tang-Yuk found it difficult to plan the program without knowing much about the choir or the students involved. However, students were eager to learn and were very committed to the music.

“They learned the notes very quickly,” Tang-Yuk said. “After four rehearsals they had practically learned all the notes.”

Tang-Yuk was pleased with the outcome of the concert.

“I thought it went pretty well,” he said. “It wasn’t perfect, but there are no perfect performances. It’s all about the learning process for the students.”

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