Saturday Oct. 1 heralded the start of the choir season at Millersville University. At the event, students and the public were able to observe the Kaleidoscope concert at 4:00 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. in Biemesderfer Hall. The program included the Marauder Men’s Glee club, the Cantilena Women’s Choir, the Chorale, University Choir, and the Choral Union.
Kaleidoscope was a preview concert for the American Voices, all which will be performed on Nov. 5. The show is named “Kaleidoscope” because, according to Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, conductor of the University choir and Choral, the show includes every choir group at Millersville in a single offering– similar to how a kaleidoscope features multiple images in the same display.
Each choir had five weeks to learn their material. In total, 15 songs were featured between the groups.
“It wasn’t that bad,” Stephanie Landino said, referring to the weeks she had to rehearse the songs. Kaleidoscope was her first choir performance at Millersville. “I learned a lot about putting emotion behind [the music],” she continued. Her favorite song is “Black Is The Color of My True Love’s Hair.”
The songs, mostly folk music from the States, deals with issues such as love, death, and God. One piece, “That Which Remains,” was written by Helen Keller, and was a favorite among some of the Choral members.
James Hilton, a music education major, loved Keller’s tune because of its, “amazing harmonies.” Hilton sang Base Two, which he enjoys.
“[Base Two] was in the lower part of my [singing] range,” Hilton said. “It’s a very manly, meaty part. I liked it a lot.”
“Heleluyan” was the final performance on Sat. The song is a favorite of Dr. Gammell’s. He often includes it in his shows.
All six chorus groups came together for the final performance, swaying from side to side on stage as Dr. Gammell played a traditional Native drum.
“It [was] definitely a force,” Landino said about the finale. “You [could] feel the movement from everyone stomping and moving around.” “Heleluyan” originates from the Muskogee Creek Indian tribe of Oklahoma.
Millersville’s American Choral Director’s Association Chapter held a fundraiser during the event as well. They sold chocolate bars to raise money for a conference they anticipate attending next spring hosted in Minneapolis, Minn.