On Friday Oct. 11, the Lawrence University choirs had their fall preview concert at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. All four choirs had an impressive line up considering the amount of time they have had to prepare. Along with Viking Chorale, Cantala and the Concert Choir, the new Bass Clef Ensemble performed for this concert. All choral pieces performed under the Lawrence choral program this year have a central theme of “love.” Each song from the fall preview concert followed this theme, exhibiting the full range a word as simple as “love” can have.
To get things started, the Bass Clef Ensemble opened up with a performance of “O welche Lust!” from Fidelio by Ludwig van Beethoven. New this year, the Bass Clef Ensemble is an auditioned group of basses, tenors and countertenors from Viking Chorale. Their few starting lines opened up the space of the chapel, busting through the seats with an incredible warm tone which delighted the audience. Tenor Victor Montañez-Cruz and baritone Nick Fahrenkrug, soloed on the ensemble’s one song, creating a graceful harmony above the other voices. This lively performance gave a great start to the first choir concert of the year, leaving the audience wanting more from the young ensemble.
Viking Chorale followed shortly with the piece “Zapovedi blazhenstv (The Beatitudes)” by Vladimir Martynov. The song filled the room with a beautifully strong hum from the choir. Senior Cecilia Kakehashi and sophomore Julia Hackler took the lead on a duet. This piece also featured senior mezzo-soprano Bea McManus and freshman countertenor Damian Islas. Accompanying the group was Alex DeBello, Elsa Hammerdahl and senior Sharon Edamala on violin, seniors Matthew Wronski and Camille Copp on viola, sophomore Maggie Bice on double-bass and senior Maggie Smith on flute. The next piece was “Greater Than” by Brian Tate which showed the more contemporary side of the ensemble.
The treble clef choir called Cantala came next and started with “I Lift My Eyes” by Joan Szymko which featured Assistant Professor of Music Estelí Gomez as the leading soprano. This was followed by “Ad Amore” by Lee R. Kesselman with percussion by senior Kelci Page, then “This Little Light of Mine” arranged by Robert T. Gibson in succession with “Almas de Barro” by Santiago Veros. Then they ended with a fun Latin number entitled “Juntos” by Jim Papoulis which was accompanied by a small dance from the Cantala members. This song included Dana Abbo, sophomore Sarah Elise Navy and Samantha Victor and percussion again by Page alongside sophomore Tyler Nanstad.
The Concert Choir closed the night with three pieces. First, “Softly” by B.E. Boykin which borrows the words of Audre Lorde eloquently. Concert Choir Outreach leader senior Caro Granner said a few words on their time with the song as well as Audre Lorde Project. Then, “O schöne Nacht, op. 92, no. 1” by Johannes Brahms was performed with solos by Stephen Deeter, Tommy Dubnicka, Emily Richert and Samantha Gibson. Finally, they ended the concert with “Rotala” from Neslegtais Gredzens by Juris Karlsons.
A livestream of the performance can be found on the Lawrence website. The choirs will be having their next concert in the chapel at 8 p.m. on Nov. 15.