Goshen students record hymns with professional composer

By Drea Mast, Contributing Writer

Twelve Goshen College musicians became professional recording artists last week by collaborating on a new hymn CD with Adam Tice, a hymn composer and GC alum.

Tice has published two volumes of 50 hymns and is set to publish another one soon. GIA Publications, a major publisher of sacred choral music, asked Tice to make an accompaniment CD using GC choir members and St. Joseph Valley Camerata, a community choir directed by Scott Hochstetler, professor of music.

Tice invited Goshen students because “he knows the halls and acoustics that Goshen has and knew this would be the perfect place to record,” said Debra Brubaker, professor of music and choir director.

After auditioning, three Goshen College students were selected for each of the four voice parts. Most rehearsals occurred during regularly scheduled choir time and did not require outside practice.

The recording process was a new experience for many of the GC singers.

“In the rehearsals, it just felt like singing in a small ensemble and it didn’t feel any different, but when we started recording, it felt intimidating because there were microphones and none of us had done that before,” said Becky Snider, a sophomore music major. “Once we found our groove, it was really fun.”

Brody Thomas, also a sophomore music major, enjoyed the experience, but found that “it was a little frustrating sometimes because we would have to do multiple takes and start over if there were any mistakes.” However, he is still glad he had the opportunity to participate. “Now I get to be on a CD and have my name on it,” Thomas said.

The students were able to work with Sally Ann Morris, an active composer, in the professional recording environment.

“She was really spunky and it was cool because she was the composer and she could make changes right there if she wanted to,” said Snider.

“[Morris] had a lot of energy, which affected us as musicians and made us sing better,” said Thomas. “From my composition experience, I know that it’s a difficult thing to do, and she does it well.”

Brubaker agreed. “Sally Ann was so enthusiastic about the music and the sounds that were being produced that it was a delightful end result,” Brubaker said. “The process was really rewarding and all of us experienced growth together.”

The 12 students involved in the recording were Emily Hedrick, Maddie Ruth, Hilary Harder, Brook Hostetter, Kate Friesen, Becky Snider, Jake Smucker, Micah Detweiler, Seth Yoder, Stefan Baumgartner, Benson Hostetter and Brody Thomas.

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