Annual Music Department Spring Concert

By: Jessica Turgeon

The Marist College Music Department hosted its annual spring concert at the Bardavon Opera House in a two day concert series this past weekend.

Bardavon Opera House sign, Spring concert 2008. Courtesy of Facebook.com

Bardavon Opera House sign, Spring concert 2008. Courtesy of Facebook.com

Saturday’s concert included performances from small group ensembles including Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Women’s Select Choir, Jazz Band, Gospel Choir, and Wind Symphony. Sunday’s selections were performed by the larger groups, including Freshman Women’s Choir, Marist Singers, the Marist College Band, and the Hand Bells.

As a result of the concert time being extended to two days, “a requirement of more literature had to be put on these groups,” said Sarah Williams, director of choral affairs in the music department. Normally, each performing group would only sing two songs, but this year the number of pieces was increased to fill the time allotted.

Also, due to the additional concert time, groups were able to perform that would not normally perform at the Bardavon event, such as the Gospel Choir. “It gives a lot more of our groups opportunities to perform,” said Williams.

Not only did the second performance day benefit the performing groups, but it helped the audience as well. Those wanting to see large groups such as Singers and Band could attend the Sunday concert, while those wanting to see a “lighter fare of music” could go on Saturday, according to Williams.

Freshman Women's Choir at Winter Festival Concert, 2007. Courtesy of Facebook.com

Freshman Women's Choir at Winter Festival Concert, 2007. Courtesy of Facebook.com

There was a scheduling conflict through the school, however, which caused a bit of conflict with the students. Student activities scheduled their spring concert of Jacks’ Mannequin and Matt Nathanson to perform the day of the Sunday Bardavon performance, so music department students were unable to attend. “We had ours on the calendar first,” said Williams. For the price that the music department paid to hold the concert at the Bardavon Opera House, they were “not going back. ”

The difficulty of having two days for the concert made it harder for students to commit their whole weekend to rehearsals and performances, according to Kelly Hall, a member of the Marist College Singers, and also for parents to attend both concerts.

What would draw the audience to this particular performance the most, however, would be the musical selections. All of the music being performed had a theme of culture and diversity, most of the selections being in a variety of different languages.

Williams admitted that she was not well-versed in international music, but while picking the musical selections for the Parents’ Weekend concert in September, she found it to be a genre she really enjoys. “Once I got into that pool, I couldn’t get out,” Williams said. “It’s so cool that 170 students and change can sing in Mongolian, French, Spanish; it’s amazing.”

Opening saxophone quartet for Winter Festival Concert, 2007. Courtesy of Facebook.com

Opening saxophone quartet for Winter Festival Concert, 2007. Courtesy of Facebook.com

“I think it’s really important that you broaden your scope of world music because it’s not all about us.” The singers performed selections in multiple languages including Mongolian, Taiwanese, French, Spanish, Egyptian, Lebanese, Latin, and Swahili.

“It was very challenging music, so the students enjoyed it,” said Kelly Hall, a member of the Marist College Singers, “but it might have been more enjoyable for the audience if more songs were in English.”

Despite the hectic schedule of a full weekend of performances, the music department worked together to make it all happen and put on a great show.

“The students’ hard work and extra time and effort really showed on the stage,” said Hall.

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