SMC choirs stage Fall Concert
Olivia Jackson | Wednesday, November 18, 2015
The Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir and the Saint Mary’s Collegiate Choirs will perform their fall concert with Bellacapella on Wednesday in O’Laughlin Auditorium.
Conductor Nancy Menk said the Women’s Choir will be singing the same songs they plan to take to the American Choral Directors Association Conference in Chicago this coming February.
“One of our pieces, a setting of Psalm 150, is composed by Carolyn Pirtle, assistant director for the Center for Liturgy at Notre Dame, so we have a local composer represented,” Menk said. “Another piece I’m proud of is ‘Heaven Full of Stars’ by Eric William Barnum. It’s a very challenging piece for advanced women’s choirs, and I feel we’re singing it very well.”
Sophomore Alyssa Rogers said the challenging music has been exciting to learn.
“The music we have been working on is very diverse,” she said. “Some pieces are slow and traditional, but we also have a few that are new and upbeat. Several of the pieces are sung a cappella, and others have very complex piano accompaniment. We are also singing a few pieces in different languages.”
Rogers said the concert will showcase the progress and hard work of both choirs.
Junior Jackie Schramm said the fall concert is particularly exciting because it is the first time the campus can hear both choirs together. Schramm said she enjoys being in a choir because she can express herself with like-minded people.
“Choral music, in my opinion, is a rare opportunity to hear a larger group of people work together to make a uniform sound with just their voices. This skill is not as easy as it seems” Schramm said.
Rogers said she has always enjoyed performing arts.
“I really enjoy being able to go to choir after all my classes and do something totally different. It’s very relaxing and rewarding for me,” she said. “Most forms of entertainment today are experienced through various forms of media. I think that it is important to appreciate choral music in live performances as well because it is a totally different experience. It’s not always perfect, but it’s real, and that’s what makes it so enjoyable for me.”
Menk said participation in choirs has positive effects on students.
“There is study after study about how participating in choirs boosts students’ academic abilities and social interactions. It’s a great way to de-stress from homework and exams as well,” Menk said.