Sauder Concert Hall was full of music of the past and present to celebrate Homecoming Weekend on Saturday. Alumni of all ages, backgrounds and identities gathered to watch students and faculty perform music with themes of love and joy at the annual Homecoming Gala. 

The concert opened with the Goshen College Symphony Orchestra performing the overture from the Broadway musical “West Side Story.” Brian Mast, conductor, led the orchestra in this dynamic opener. 

“It was better than expected,” said Francisco Behan Morillo, a first-year in orchestra, Vox Profundi and Chamber Choir. “I was just excited to be performing!”

Vox Profundi took to the stage and performed two electrifying pieces. Dontaye Albert, a sophomore in Vox Profundi and Chamber Choir, said: “My favorite part of the gala was definitely the Vox performance. I feel like it was a massive improvement on my part, not only because I’m a second-year and I’m less of a stranger, but also as a whole because after last year’s tour, we have now bonded much more.” 

Dr. Matthew Hill, professor of music and faculty chair, followed Vox Profundi’s performance with a stunning piano solo. 

Next, Voices of the Earth stepped barefoot on the choral terrace to perform two songs. One of the pieces, a South African song called “Njengebhadi,” included choreography that Voices of the Earth performed together. 

Chamber Choir was the last to perform in the gala. Before this, however, the audience joined the choir in singing “Teach Me Thy Truth,” the Goshen College hymn. The final piece, “Lead With Love,” featured soloist Aysia Adkins, a first-year. This song allowed for audience participation, inviting alumni and other patrons to join in with clapping and singing.

Jocsan Barahona Rosales, a sophomore member of Vox Profundi and Chamber Choir, felt that the concert was a success.

“It was a good showcase of the beginning of the year; it’s always nice to see all the people coming from different places.” 

After the concert, feelings of nostalgia from alumni and pride from present students emanated from the Music Center, sparking many conversations and reunions in the lobby. As guests and performers alike began to depart, the bright atmosphere remained — all who came left with a smile on their face and love in their hearts.