Three Goshen College choirs — Chamber Choir, Vox Profundi and Voices of the Earth — presented a mosaic of music at the Earthtones: Songs From Many Cultures concert in Sauder Concert Hall on Saturday.The choirs performed individually and as a joint chorus. The program featured choral works in many languages and countries, including Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Nigeria, China, South Korea, Syria, Iraq, Mexico and Ukraine.
During their individual performances, the Vox Profundi and Voices of the Earth choirs invited their relatives, mentors and friends to join them for a song.
In addition to the choirs, the program included a performance by the Ballet Folklórico Las Guadalupanas, who danced as Voices sang “Cielito Lindo.” Las Guadalupanas is a local dance troupe at the St. John Catholic Church. The Hispanic community at the church created this group to continue learning about their dance and culture.
Irish Cortez, a member of Voices of the Earth, joined Las Guadalupanas around five years ago. She fell in love with the beautiful dresses, the music and the experience of connecting back to her roots.
“When I found out we were doing ‘Cielito Lindo,’ I was already so excited because it’s the unofficial anthem in Mexico,” Cortez said. “It’s the song that every Latinx knows. Once we were told my group was going to dance as well, I felt so happy and even more excited. It was a connection between my culture and my everyday life here in college… It was wonderful.”
Cortez added: “Singing in voices means being in a community where I am embraced with open arms and accepted for who I am. I feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment. I love singing and music and the feeling I get when I’m singing with my peers is unmatched.”
Before the last song, the choirs recognized the graduating senior choir members: Mary Schmauss, Ainslee Zou, Mariah Kaufman, Anna Smucker, Leah Kauffman, Sav Roth Walter, Priscilla Tanujaya, Haley Kirkton, Katy Thornthwaite, Cade Fisher, Noah Kauffman, Gabe Hartzler, Joel Yoder, Ben Reichenbach, Tobias Garcia and Alex Miller.
This senior class is the last to have had Deb Detwiler as a choir director, in their first year, and the program included a tribute to her and her legacy.
A tradition for Earthtones, started by Detwiler, is to close out the concert with “Woyaya (We Are Going)” as a send-off for the seniors. Each senior was recognized and invited to the front of the stage where they received a small shaker to use during the singing of “Woyaya.”