‘Choral Festival’ offers combined choir tour de force

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‘Choral Festival’ offers combined choir tour de force

All five BJU choirs will perform a combined concert, titled “A Choral Festival,” on Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., showcasing a group piece and individual pieces by the separate choirs.

The  festival will be held in Stratton Hall.

As the concert  finale, Dr. Eliezer Yanson, conductor for the Concert and Lyric choirs, will conduct all the choirs in the traditional piece “Skip to my Lou.”

“It will be a massive finale because close to 300 singers will be participating,” Yanson said.

Yanson said the piece, which features eight vocal parts, will be a good way to end the concert.

Because of the number of collaborative events this semester, including the performance of Requiem for the Living during homecoming and the Concert, Opera & Drama Series: A Very Merry Christmas!  to be performed on Dec. 6, most choirs were not able to have their own individual concerts.

University Singers and Lyric Choir are the exceptions. University Singers performed their concert last  Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. in Stratton Hall.

Lyric Choir’s individual concert performance is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 5, at 5 p.m. in the War Memorial Chapel.

The Choral Festival will allow choirs to perform a brief individual concert as a segment of the program.

“It will be an opportunity for each choir to showcase their own individual pieces that they’ve worked hard over this semester for this concert,” Yanson said. “It’s going to be a great program.”

By participating in a combined choir event, students get to experience new opportunities for choral growth—opportunities they would not otherwise get in an individual choir setting.

Joy Kamibayashiyama, senior communication major and a member of BJU’s Chorale, said the collaborative choral experience is stretching.

“It helps me learn how to help others in a choir,” Kamibayashiyama said. “Now we actually have to be the [ones] who point things out [and] encourage the other choir members.”

Kamibayashiyama, who sang under Yanson as a member of the Concert Choir last year, enjoys performing under his leadership again.

“It’s actually really great to come back and be under Dr. Yanson for a little bit,” she said.

Kamibayashiyama enjoys the two pieces Chorale will be performing in the festival.

One piece, “Sicut Cervus,” is in Latin.

She said the other piece is a bit challenging to memorize because of its length.

“It’s fourteen, sixteen pages of vocal sounds and [the word] ‘alleluia,’” Kamibayashiyama said.

Jen Naas, sophomore piano pedagogy major and member of the Collegiate Choir, said she is learning much from her choir experience.

“As someone just getting out of USingers, it’s nice to be with the more experienced choirs like Chorale and Concert who have done this for a while,” Naas said.

Typically, choirs meet three days a week: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

But this semester, because of the collaborative events, the choirs have used their Thursday practice slots for extra rehearsals.

Because of these added rehearsals, Naas said she’s finding her schedule busier than originally expected.

“The time commitment is a little more than I was originally thinking coming into this semester,” Naas said. “But going to choir rehearsal has never been something I dread.”

She said she has enjoyed having rehearsals in War Memorial Chapel because of the acoustics.

After the choirs have performed in November’s choral festival, they will direct their attention towards preparing for December’s Artist Series, A Very Merry Christmas!

This Concert, Opera & Drama Series will be performed in the Founders Memorial Amphitorium at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6.

The choirs, under the direction of Dr. Warren Cook, will be collaborating with the BJU Symphony Orchestra, which is directed by Dr. Michael Moore, chair of the division of music.

The repertoire for this concert includes solo opportunities.