Nine Colleges, One Harmony

An outside view of ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. Photo Credit / Rebecca Jasulevicz
An outside view of ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. Photo Credit / Rebecca Jasulevicz

An outside view of ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center.
Photo Credit / Rebecca Jasulevicz

By Amanda Schreck
SC Staff Writer

The Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Association Festival on Saturday, November 1, brought together singers from nine different colleges across the state.

Allegheny, Thiel, York College, Alvernia, Clarion, Immaculata, Kutztown, Lincoln, and East Stroudsburg University joined together for the choral concert in the Fine and Performing Arts Ceter’s Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall from 1:30 PM until 3 PM.

They started the afternoon with the Star Spangled Banner and began the program a mixture of piano accompaniment and A Cappella pieces from Fauré, Shaw, Poelinitz, Green, Whalum, Orbán, Britten, Campolieta, and Paul Simon, ending with an encore of Wendell Whalum’s arrangement of “Lily of the Valley.”

The group finished off the main program with Kirby Shaw’s rendition of Paul Simon’s song “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” and the choir joined their hands together to the beat along with the entire audience.

They swayed to the tempo of Joe Michaels on the electric base and Sam Roma on the drums, filling the hall.

Jireh Harrison and Santea Ross-Hendrix, the two soloists in the show, are both music vocal performance and piano majors at Lincoln Univeristy in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Not only do they perform at the university, but they travel across the country and around the world.

“We’re international now. We actually just came back from South Africa in May,” said Harrison.

“I just feel like it’s a great networking process, like the fact that we’re all musicians and this is what we want to do for the rest of our lives. So, being in this type of environment helps us to learn what to do, what not to do, who are the people to meet, which betters us artistically. Musicians and as people, it matures us musically and professionally,” Hendrix said.

“Being in a choir is motivating. It’s a family oriented place. I call them my family. They’re just like, ‘You can do it! You can do it!’ It makes my nerves just go down. So, it’s a great experience,” said Harrison.

Peter Bagley is the Professor Emeritus of Music and Former Special Assistant to the Dean of School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut and was the guest conductor at the festival.

He made his Carnegie Hall debut in June of 1997, conducting Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. “Agnus Dei” from Requiem was also the first song played during the festival.

Keep an eye out for future concerts and don’t miss out!

Email Amanda at:
aschreck@live.esu.edu

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