Goshen’s three choirs — Men’s Chorus, Chamber Choir and Women’s World Music Choir — joined together for the Goshen College Winter Choral Concert last Saturday night, Feb. 7. The result was a lively performance complete with exultant celebrations and lustrous harmonies. People packed into the Sauder Music Hall, ready to be amazed.
A hush fell over the crowd as the Men’s Chorus took the stage. They opened up the concert singing praises in the song “Zion’s Walls.” The song built as they clapped their hands and stomped their feet in unison to the beat of the music. Hearing their upbeat song, it was hard for listeners not to tap their feet. Another audience favorite was “Pacem,” a classic piece arranged by Goshen local, Lee Dengler.
Following Men’s Chorus, a small ensemble featuring soprano and alto voices sang a traditional Macedonian folk song called “Sto Mi E Milo.” They gathered in a semi-circle at front of the stage and sang, their voices shimmering with the melodies of the song. The group was conducted by Emily Hilton-Nickel, a sophomore.
Next, Chamber Choir took the stage. Their first song,“Spaseniye Sodelal, Op. 5, No. 2,” was calm and serene. Following that song was the hymn, “Bogoroditse Djevo.” The singers’ voices melded together in perfect harmonies.
“It’s so satisfying to sing that with everybody and hear all the different harmonies together,” singer Ari Leatherman, a sophomore, said. “I really like sharing music that I’ve worked on with other people.”
The last group to perform was the Goshen Women’s World Music Choir. They began with “Ajde Jano”, a Serbian song arranged by Debra Detwiler, the director of the Women’s Choir.
The audience was delighted as dancers took the stage hand in hand to perform a traditional Serbian line dance, for which the song is named. Drums kept the beat as they stepped lightly with clasped hands.
Another notable song that the group sang was “Pah Rahng Seh,” an arrangement of a traditional Korean folk song.
This arrangement was composed by a member of the Women’s Choir, Yejin Kim, a sophomore. The folk song was written during the Japanese occupation of Korea, a plea for Japan to spare their country. The song is especially personal to Kim as her grandfather was a freedom fighter during the occupation.
Following a melodic rendition of a classical piece sung in Latin, the last song of the night was “Hlohonolofatsa,” a South African greeting song. Kim and junior Irina Gladun began the piece with a call-and-response solo. The song became a celebration as the whole choir joined in and stepped down from risers to stand together downstage.
The choir followed choreography and clapped their hands to the beat.
“It’s super upbeat,” said Haley Willis, a first-year. “Everyone gets very involved, we’re all just having a great time.”
For those who missed this performance, the next time the GC Choirs take the stage will be at the 58th Annual Concerto-Aria Concert this Saturday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will feature six student winners of the Concerto-Aria contest, alongside the GC orchestra.