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Concert Choir's Fall Concert ... Amazing

- Listen to the concert - (16:57 min.)

On October 3 and 4, Berea’s concert choir treated the entire campus to a terrific fall show, complete with stories from the Bible, dedications to deceased composers and even a “Weird Al-like parody for the Renaissance Era.” The choir hosted two concerts on Saturday and Sunday, and each set show also included special performances by the choir Chamber Singers.

Dr. Bolster leads the choir in their annual fall performance.

After a short intro titled “In Paradisum,” the choir started “Requiem Aeternam,” a hauntingly beautiful song which featured an amazing solo from Kimberly Daniels. After the solo, the “Requiem” suite continued with seven more movements, each one demonstrating the choir’s talents in different ways, both as a group as well as singling out some amazing singers as well. With the penultimate section in the Requiem set, “Requiem Aeternam II,” a wonderful, crystalline piano work by Ryan Shirar accompanied a brief, but stellar duet between Nicholas Gywn and Jessica French.

One of the high points of the concert was the next piece, "In Remembrance," which was helped by Barbara Rutledge on French horn. Along with one of the best performances by the choir all day, the song soared through a bittersweet melody with great ease. It was a joy to listen to. Elsewhere in the show, the multifaceted group delivered an interesting interpretation of the conversion of Saul in the Bible. One particular section was even narrated by one of the choir students, Michael Davis, with a accompanied by a commanding organ played by John Courter.

During the second half of the concert, the Chamber Choir performed a few numbers by Thomas Morley which Berea conductor Stephen Bolster referred to as “renaissance pop songs.” One of which, called “My Bonnie Lass She Smileth,” also was performed with a parody number that was written some 200 years later, and was aptly named, “My Bonnie Lass She Smelleth.” Conductor Bolster joined the Chamber Singers for this and it received many laughs from the audience as the female choir singers hit the male singers behind them with their songbooks midway through the song.

The concert came to a close with “I Am In Need Of Music,” which was dedicated to the late David Nott, who was the director of Choral Activities at Illinois Wesleyan University from 1964-1995. Starting with a poem read by student singer Elizabeth Bishop, the song was a fitting end to terrific show from a very versatile Berea student choir.

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