I had a really wonderful time at the choir’s Fall Concert in Parker Chapel last Tuesday. I am in no way qualified to give an actual “review” of the choir concert, but what I can say is that everyone should attend Trinity choral performances.
The chapel itself is beautiful and yet not too overpowering. It doesn’t distract from the performers, but it is quite a stunning building. I was surrounding by a surprisingly large crowd. Each pew in the church was filled with people, a honest blend of students, faculty and parents.
We all clapped for a very long time as the first group, the Trinity Choir, began to file into their places on the risers. They were all dressed smartly and the conductor, Gary Seighman, was dressed in slick white tux. After a brief introduction, the concert began.
The first song they did was moving, the voices of the choir blending in a smooth and definite way, making for a great opening. What followed was an equally great piece, a religious hymn that gave me goosebumps.
But for me the best part of this set was a pretty incredible collaboration piece with Benjamin Stevens, visiting assistant professor of classical studies, and the Trinity Choir. It started with a solo from Stevens and was followed by a haunting collaboration from the full choir. It was moving. The mix of old and young and the positive message that the song carried of race and dreams made for a lucid experience.
The Trinity Choir then continued with their set and killed it. When they finished they were met with a resounding applause. They were followed by the Chamber Singers, who have been selected for the National Collegiate Choral Organization Annual Conference, held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were given the pleasure of hearing the set they would be playing at this national competition.
While I can’t say I have the trained ear to really know how good these guys and girls are, I can say that I loved everything they did. They were accompanied by beautiful harp, piano, violin and bell players, and each song was better than the last. I knew some of their members and it was amazing to watch these incredible, multifaceted individuals show how truly talented they are and how hard they work at something they love.
After the Chamber Singers finished they were followed by the final act, Voix d’Esprit, or The Voice of Spirit. An all-women choir, each singer wore a different colored scarf and carried a folder of music and a small light. Their performance was different from the others but in interesting and unique ways.
One of their pieces had a light component to it, where all the lights were turned off and the small lights they carried added to their changes in pitch and the pauses in the song. In another piece they were accompanied by opera singer, associate professor Jacquelyn Matava.
And for the final number of the night, they sang an energetic and sweeping choral piece with Julia Westwick singing a solo. I would wager to say she stole the night. Her voice was strong and sweet, and it added a truly gospel element to it all.
It was heartening to see the amount of people out at the church supporting these incredibly talented people doing something they love. An appreciation for the many different facets of artistic expression on our campus is something we should all strive for.
If you have a relatively open evening and want to relax and enjoy some lovely singing, look no further than the Trinity Choir. I left the church hall happy and moved, but disappointed that I couldn’t sit in the pew, rewind and listen to it all again.