University Singers, Lyric Choir concerts to give praises

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University Singers, Lyric Choir concerts to give praises

Freshman Judson Greene, member of the University Singers, rehearses with the choir for an upcoming concert. Photo: Molly Waits

The print copy of this article in the Friday, Nov. 15 issue of The Collegian contained informational errors. The Collegian staff apologizes for those errors and has corrected the information in the online version. 

Two university choirs, the University Singers and the Lyric Choir, will perform concerts during the next week.

The University Singers will give their first concert tonight at 5 p.m. in Stratton Hall. Titled “Doxologia,” the concert will focus on praising God for what He has done.

The University Singers, whose members are mostly freshmen, were recently invited to perform for the South Carolina American Choral Director’s Association  fall conference held at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, and four of the songs they sang at the conference are part of tonight’s program.

“It is an honor for a freshman choir to be invited to perform [at the SCACDA],” said Dr. Eliezer Yanson, the University Singers and Lyric Choir director. “Performing for the SCACDA really stretched my faith because I start from scratch with my singers every year. This concert is praise to God for what He has done for us.”

The program consists of mostly sacred music, but there are a few secular pieces. One of the pieces that will be performed is called “Mass in C” by Franz Schubert and features graduate students as soloists: Markel Toler, Marissa Doney, Andy Woodard and Harrison Beckmann. A chamber orchestra will accompany this 25-minute work. It will be sung in Austro-Germanic Latin (often called singers’ Latin) instead of ecclesiastical Latin (classified as church Latin). “As far as I know, the piece has never been sung on campus before,” Yanson said. “The piece has really grown me and my students.”

Another song is called “Segalariak,” translated “The Reapers.” It’s a piece from Spain and will be sung in Basque. “It’s a really fun piece,” Yanson said. “It’s about a grass-cutting competition that is held annually in Spain.”

The Lyric Choir, a women’s choir, will also perform their first concert of the year. Titled “Lauda,” the concert name means “praise,” and will be given Thursday, Nov. 21, at 5 p.m. in War Memorial Chapel.

While the Lyric Choir will also perform both sacred and secular pieces, the most notable piece comes from two phases of “Laudate Pueri.” Both phases will be performed in Latin, one ecclesiastical and one Austro-Germanic. Several periods will be represented in the music, including the Baroque period, the Romantic period and the twentieth century. The Lyric Choir will sing in three languages during the program: English, Latin and one song in Hebrew titled “Shiru L’Adonai.”

“The languages can really be a challenge,” Yanson said. “But the choir loves a challenge and steps up to it. God has also provided students and staff who know every language we have tried. They really help with pronunciation.”

Yanson usually starts preparing for these concerts at least a year before the actual event. “My favorite part of the concert is actually the preparation process,” Yanson said. “The concert is really the icing on the cake. I love watching my students’ tastes mature as we prepare for the concert, making sure that they like what they know, not just know what they like.”