Choirs present romance, praise and parody

Last Saturday night was the annual Winter Choral Concert, held in Sauder Concert Hall. Three choirs performed a wide variety of music, with a total of 11 songs in seven languages.

Ethan Lapp, a senior, who performed in both Chamber Choir and Vox Profundi, shared his appreciation for the different types of songs. 

“I thought that it went really well, maybe because there was such a variety of music styles in all the choir performances,” he said. “There were romantic songs, praise songs, parody songs, and a lot more.”

The Chamber Choir, directed by Scott Hochstetler, started the evening with four songs, half of which were in Latin. While introducing the pieces, Hochstetler described the Chamber Choir section as “all about love.” The songs expressed different types of love, such as love for God or for others. The section ended with “Rytmus,” a difficult song filled with complex rhythms and rapid-fire Latin.

“Rytmus definitely took the most effort to learn,” Lapp said. “It was kind of intimidating to hear the recordings of it at the beginning of the semester because this was my first time in Chamber Choir. I couldn’t imagine being able to sing it well at that speed, but we did and it was a lot of fun.”

Vox Profundi, also directed by Hochstetler, performed the next three songs, most notable of which being “Lambscapes,” by Eric Lane Barnes. The piece is a variation on “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” written in four classical styles: Gregorian Chanting, Handel’s Messiah, Franz Schubert, and Giuseppe Verdi (opera).  The song featured three soloists: Benjamin Reichenbach (lamb), Xan Seymour (baritone), and Daniel Robles (tenor).

Lapp, who’s participated in Vox Profundi his entire college career, stated his enjoyment in performing “Lambscapes.” “I don’t think we have had the chance to sing a song like that in Vox Profundi during my time in college and it felt good to hear the positive responses and the laughs from the audience,” he said.

The last choir of the evening to perform was Voices of the Earth, directed by Marcia Yost. Two of the four songs performed focused on creation. One of those songs was “Muusika,” which held special significance for many seniors. “Muusika” was last performed by the choir on their tour to Canada in 2017, led by the late Deb Detwiler.

Senior Olivia Smucker was a part of that tour and thought “Mussika” was a great way to remember Detwiler. 

“When we were singing on Saturday I felt just as taken with the swells of the music as I had the first time,” she said. “I think a number of others felt that way too, I noticed Scott wiping away tears after we had finished.”

The concert finished with the song “Joshua,” an African-American spiritual about the Battle of 

Jericho. The piece began with an introduction in Hebrew and featured Yejin Kim on the piano and Cadence Lee on the trumpet.

The Goshen College choirs will perform again in Sauder Hall in the upcoming months. Following their spring break tour of Puerto Rico from February 21-28, the Voices of the Earth choir will present a home concert on Sunday, March 2 at 7:30 pm. The final choral concert of the year will be Earthtones, the annual spring concert celebrating global music on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for both concerts can found at

Written by Annie Steiner, Contributing Writer

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