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Final Choir Concert Is Joyous

On May 4, the Berea College Concert Choir and Chamber Singers performed their 2008 Spring concert in Grey Auditorium.

The Concert Choir performed alongside the Chamber Singers for their Spring Concert.

As with all of the choir’s concerts, the show was divided into sections that provided surprises and overall great music from many different groups on campus. The first four movements featured the Concert Choir exclusively, which included a couple of favorites, one of which is Benjamin Britten’s “Rejoice of the Lamb,” which spotlighted four of the group’s strongest singers. Jessica French, Diana Lowe, Stephen Amick and Nicholas Gwyn, all with different vocal ranges, each got their chance for a solo and the overall piece was cohesive and enchanting. Another piece was Oliver Messiaen’s “O Sacrum Convivium,” which was integrated into the concert to honor the 100th Anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Throughout the concert, particularly in the second half, the Chamber Singers also performed a handful of songs including, but not limited to, “Song of Peace” by Vincent Persichetti and “A Chorister’s Covert Concert” by George L. Mabry. Other specialized groupings were performed as well, such as the cluster of American Negro spirituals, all of which featured a solo each, from Joanna Moses, Kimberly Daniels and David Collins.

However, the real fireworks were set off for the finale as the guest performers of the event, Berea’s Black Music Ensemble (BME) took the stage. Together with both the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, the groups joined in for an exuberant recital of “Clap Praise!” by Diane White.

Conducted by Stephen Bolster, save for the final piece by BME which was conducted Kathy Bullock, Bolster was helped along by the powerful keys work of Ryan Shirar on piano and John Courter on organ. Altogether, the annual Spring Concert was a joyous send off for another great year in music for the Berea ensembles.

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