During the night of the prior weekend, on Saturday March 2nd, the several choirs of Millersville University resonated within the Biemsderfer Concert Hall of the Winter Center with A Colorful Collage of Modern Choral Art.
The first choir group, The Men’s Glee Club, came on stage and began the night with a rendition of Scarborough Fair that gave an echo throughout the auditorium with an aura of mystery similar to Simon & Garfunkel’s version. Afterword, a new tune began to be sung, but with no actual words, for they were allowing their voices to reenact the title song of Game of Thrones. As the catchy acapella ended, the maestro, Dr. Howell, turned to the crowd and said, “If you do not hear English, your hearing dragon tongue,” and then the brisk music of Dovahkiin from the acclaimed video game, Elder Scrolls V: Skryrim, began with its roars. The tension cooled with the song Danny Boy, and rose again with the catchiness of their final song, Tshotsholoza, as the choristers sung and danced with an energetic swing while their composer did the same as he moved around the stage.
The second performance was the Cantilena Women’s Choir, and they began with a serenely sung with recorder whistling along a piece known as Adiemus by Karl Jenkins. Thereafter, a beautiful lyrical adaption of William Butler Yeats’s poem Lake Isle of Innisfree by Shawn Kirchner, which was retitled as I will Arise and Go. In their final piece the Cantilena Women’s Choir chose a similar routine to the Marauder Men’s Glee Club dance number, with the pomp of Keith Hampton’s Praise His Holy Name, which started with a tap-dance and a clap and then ended with jazz-hands in the air.
Next on stage, was the student-run accapello group, Chromatic Expansion. They sung both Adventure of a Lifetime by Chris Martin and arranged by Stephen Baker, as well as Lady Marmalade by Bob Crew and arranged by Nick Berent. The main singer came changing as the mic was passed from soloist thrice in each piece, and the rhythm never went uninterrupted.
Chorale came afterwards, and sung the 1572 version O vos omnes by Tomás Luis Victoia as comparison for the 2019 version of the same piece that followed thereafter by Robert Wall. The composer stated that Chorale began its practice for this piece two weeks into the semester after its recent publication.
Soon after, the voices of the University Choir arose with the Phoenix Song by David L. Brunner, and their vocals soared. Muusika by Pärt Uusberg and Kim André Arnesen’s Flight Song came after, with Only in Sleep by Ëriks Esenvalds being the end their solo performance.
The finale of the event came about with the Oscar nominated music piece from the 2017 blockbuster The Greatest Showman, This is Me. The stage filled with all members of each choir along with musicians on guitar and drums. The beat was on point, and it felt as if one was watching the scene from the movie or hearing it on the radio.
Overall, it was a wondrous and diverse display of music