On Friday, the Goshen College Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra combined for an evening of music in Sauder Concert Hall.
The concert provided a sneak peek of the tour the two ensembles will go on this coming February, as well as showcasing additional Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra pieces.
Under the direction of Dr. Jose Rocha, the Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra started the concert by performing “Te Deum,” composed by Joseph Haydn. Rocha expressed the educational value of the experience for those involved to work together with other musicians.
He said, “We get to explore a new way of connecting and making music and it is so exciting to work with the added sonorities of the voices and experience how it all balances and turns into an amazing musical work.”
The Chamber Choir continued the program with “Õhtul,” an Estonian piece composed by Uusberg; “To All the Mothers in Brazil: Salve Regina,” a Portuguese piece arranged by Eriksson; “Hark I Hear the Harps Eternal,” arranged by Alice Parker; and “All of Us,” a piece composed by Craig Hella Johnson as part of “Considering Matthew Shepard.”
Although choir members highlighted different songs as their favorite, a prevalent theme was the emotional and inspiring connection singers found with the music.
Lisa Rosado Rivera, a second-year music vocal performance major, said she loved singing “Õhtul.”
“[It] brings peace and calm to my soul and shares that same emotion with everyone who listens to it,” she said. “Its melody flows, like if you were floating around the clouds.”
Janell Preheim, a sophomore music education major, spoke about “All of Us” and its power to move those who listen to it through rich harmonies and the story behind it.
Preheim described the piece as a “call to find hope and light in God and our community, even during dark times.”
The Symphony Orchestra performed three pieces as well, including highlights from “Wicked.”
“Who doesn’t love ‘Wicked’?” said Katy Thornthwaite, a first-year. “It was a fun piece to both play and listen to.”
Dr. Debra Detwiler, director of the Chamber Choir, spoke of the pleasure and the learning which comes from combining voices and instruments.
“The opportunity to be aware of each other’s music-making abilities while we’re practicing and performing expands our ears and experiences,” Detwiler said. “It’s also great to have Dr. Rocha conducting the combined groups. I’ll be conducting some on the tour as well, and I look forward to that.”
The Goshen College Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra will next be performing at the annual Festival of Carols, on Dec. 7 and 8 at 7:30 p.m and Dec. 9 at 4 p.m.