GC Choirs to present Earthtones concert

By Grace Parker

On Saturday, March 26, Goshen College choirs will present the seventh annual Earthtones concert, featuring musical pieces from around the world. Countries represented include the Philippines, Argentina, West Africa, Ireland, Persia, Hungry, South Africa, and China.

According to Deb Brubaker, director of the chamber choir, the international focus of this concert began in 2005 to celebrate different musical cultures. Since then, the choirs have practiced to master the different styles.

“It’s always a fun concert to put together,” she said. “Many of the vocal sounds, musical rhythms, and intervals are unusual and interesting to experiment with.”

The concert will also feature two student conductors, Kaleb Batten, a junior, and Ashley Walker, a senior. This is the first time for both of them to conduct a piece at a concert.

Batten spoke about the difference of conducting, rather than singing in, a choir.

“I have enjoyed working with the choir,” said Batten. “It’s a completely different experience to conduct, because as a conductor, you have to do extra preparation so you can decide how you want the piece to sound, the stress of different words and syllables and other technical aspects before rehearsal.”

Walker has appreciated the willingness of the choir to allow her to practice conducting.

“The women have been so kind in working with me, as they realize that this is truly a learning experience for me,” said Walker. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of college singers to conduct for the first time.”

Both of them are excited to share the fruits of their choirs’ hard work at the concert.

The Earthtones concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26, in Sauder Concert Hall. Tickets are $7 adults, $5 seniors/students, available at the door one hour before the concert. GC students, faculty and staff are free with ID.

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