A chance to “Simply enjoy the beauty of music”

On Friday, Oct. 10, the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music presented their Fall Concert in Edman Chapel. The concert featured performances by Women’s Choral, Men’s Glee Club, Concert Choir and Symphonic Band.
The band and choirs performed both classical and traditional pieces. The choirs brought out lyrics written by authors such as Emily Dickinson and Emily Brontë and finished with the words and music of Mozart.
Under the direction of professor of choral music and conducting Mary Hopper, Women’s Chorale sang a variety of sacred songs, opening the concert with what junior alto Sarah Han described as a somewhat spiritual experience. “Music, especially in a choir, has a way of expressing as a group the different things and struggles we’re going through individually. Some of the music is purely for the fun of making music, and sometimes it is a profound way of processing and expressing pain and healing,” Han said.
Han continued, “Just the act of singing is incredible because we have the chance to mull over the words and express the hope and joy we have in God as well as simply enjoying the beauty of the music.”
Men’s Glee Club, also directed by Hopper, sang several classical pieces as well, adding a traditional Scottish song that sophomore tenor Caleb Luk mentioned as a highlight of his experience that night.
“I personally enjoyed singing ‘Loch Lomond’ the most as it was the most calm of the three songs, yet it also had parts which juxtaposed the calm theme with a defiant last march,” Luk said.
“One element I wished we could have incorporated from last year was some sort of movement,” Luk added, commenting about the difference between this concert and previous ones. “Last year we had choreography to one of our songs, and I had an amazing time incorporating both the visual and audio arts to display that gifts that God had blessed the Men’s Glee Club with.”
The Concert Choir, directed by professor of choral music John Trotter, also changed stylistically in their song choices between this year and last year’s concert.
Sophomore tenor Robin Kong commented on the change, saying, “It was quite a different experience for me despite the fact that it’s my second year. First, we had a number of new people in our choir, and second, most of our repertoire in this concert was in English, and, as Dr. Trotter always mentions, English is the hardest language to sing in.” Kong continued, “Despite these differences from previous concerts, we pulled it off nicely, and I personally was super satisfied with how we sounded.”
The Symphonic Band brought together a wide variety of compositions from different sources and was primarily directed by professor of music education Timothy Yontz. Senior tuba player Adam Lindgren described this, saying, “One of the best things about our Fall Concert set list was that it was a little bit of everything. We had two pieces (that were) published this year, a standard fanfare from wind band’s golden age, an orchestra transcription, a blazing march and a playful but technical children’s piece. My favorite piece was the Children’s March, with student conductor (senior) Dan Quinn.”
Lindgren also highlighted his experience with Quinn. “It was such a joy to be led by a fellow student who taught us how to interpret the piece from day one and directed us beautifully from start to finish. The piece was challenging and engaging, but that made it worth working on, and the audience loved it,” Lindgren said.
Lindgren, who is also a member of Men’s Glee Club said, “It is always such a blessing to bring the gift of music to my peers and mentors, whether it be choral, orchestral, jazz, percussion, a cappella or gospel. To worship the Lord through song is a truly enriching and fulfilling experience, and to bring the audience along with us and hopefully bring them closer to God is a joyous endeavor, and one I never tire of.”

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