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April 15, 2015
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April 15, 2015

Six musicians blend voices, talents in Opus 6 ensemble

Dr. David Parker leads Opus 6 in rehearsal for the group’s concert Saturday night in War Memorial Chapel. Photo: Ethan Rogers

Opus 6, the official vocal ensemble for the voice department, will hold its final concert of the year Saturday at
7 p.m. in War Memorial

The program includes the following: an approximately 15-minute-long opera piece sung in English; three early Renaissance pieces, each sung in different languages—German, French and Italian; a piece by Mozart; three spirituals, arranged by Dr. David Parker, who directs the group; a men’s number and a women’s number that follows pieces written by Randall Thompson; and, finally, a fun song called, “Name That Tune.”

The six members of the group are Olivia Daniels, Kristin Frazier, Jocelyn Lindmark, Stephen Rinard, Jonathan Fraga and Michael Seibert. Parker directs the group, while Mrs. Christa Habegger, a faculty member in the Division of Music, accompanies. Parker said he thought of the name for the ensemble when he was browsing the Internet and saw that one school had named an eight-singer ensemble Opus 8. Parker decided on a smaller group, and Opus 6 was born.

Olivia Daniels, a senior voice performance major who sings first soprano, has been in Opus 6 for two years and said she enjoys the opportunity to sing in the ensemble. “What I have enjoyed most about Opus 6 is the ability to make beautiful music with wonderful people,” Daniels said.

Daniels said the smaller size of the six-person ensemble allows the members to focus more attention on perfecting their harmony. “The perk of being a part of a smaller ensemble is that we are able to dig deeper into developing a harmonious blend,” she said, “and building in musicianship, which can be more difficult to cultivate in a larger ensemble.”

Stephen Rinard, a senior voice performance major who has sung in Opus 6 since he was a freshman, said the smaller size can be challenging as well. “You have to find the balance between letting your part be heard, while also blending in order to make beautiful music,” Rinard said.

Rinard also said singers have to pay careful attention to the music in a smaller ensemble. “You can’t just coast through and hope it will sound good,” he said.

Opus 6 rehearses after chapel on Tuesdays for about an hour. The group usually performs during Bible Conference, as well as at two Christmas concerts—one at Grove Park Inn in Asheville and one at the Lighting Ceremony.