The Cameron University Concert Choir will take the stage at the University Theatre on Thursday, October 7, to present its Fall 2021 concert. The musical event will start at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens/military/K-12 students. Admission is free to CU students, faculty and staff with CU ID. Seating is limited, so patrons are encouraged to call 580-581-2346 to reserve a seat. Facial coverings are encouraged.
“The selections for this concert have a common message of peace and hope,” says Dr. Christian Morren, who directs the choir. “I feel it is needed in a time like this for students and the public alike. Music is a universal language and is one we can agree on. The choir has really come together and worked hard to make this concert happen under extreme circumstances.”
The CU Concert Choir is primarily composed of Cameron vocal students, who have been rehearsing since the onset of the Fall 2021 semester. According to Morren, the repertoire for this concert is rather eclectic and will show many sides of the choir, from the more classical style of Handel to the more contemporary music of Eric Whitacre and Dan Forrest.
The concert will kick off with “Hark, I Hear Those Harps Eternal,” an arrangement for the Robert Shaw Chorale by internationally recognized composer, conductor and teacher Alice Parker. The tune was originally found in The Southern Harmony, a compilation of hymns, tunes, psalms and songs published by William Walker in 1834.
Handel’s “Sing Unto God” will follow. The piece was composed for the 1736 wedding of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and Princes August of Saxe-Gotha.
Morren cites the next piece, Eric Whitacre’s “Sing Gently,” as “incredibly special” as Whitacre composed the work during the COVID pandemic.
“Mr. Whitacre observed the division within the country and wanted to write a piece that brought us together, and ‘Sing Gently’ certainly does that,” Morren says. “There are parts through the piece where the voices are in unison, symbolizing one voice, humanity coming together as one.”
The Cameron Opera Studio will be front-and-center with an opera preview of the upcoming production of Gian Carlo Menotti’s “The Medium.” The story revolves around Madame Flora, who, with the help of her daughter Monica and Toby, a mute servant, tries to cheat her clients through faked séances. She is touched by a hand during one of them, an occurrence she cannot explain and which drives her to insanity.
André Thomas’ arrangement of “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning” follows. A traditional gospel blues song, it has been attributed to Blind Willie Johnson, who recorded it in 1928.
The spiritual will be followed by Dan Forest’s “Shalom,” another song of peace and hope that is cited as a “tender and comforting work.”
The concert will conclude with “Music Lead The Way,” a rousing gospel-styled composition by Laura Farnell and Henry Van Dyke that proclaims “peace and love will conquer hate and strife.”
Participating vocalists are listed by hometown:
Cache: Heather Martin
Duncan: Rachel McCurry, Caden Spurgeon, Mikayla Stephenson
Elgin: Veronica Squire
Fletcher: Heather Heinz
Irving, Texas: Jacqueline Webb
Lawton/Fort Sill: Vanessa Cleophat, Samantha Cook, Kirstin Dunn, Josie French, Samantha Gillespie, David Gracial Trent Hagood, Brittany Hall, Titan Mace, Grace Norbury, Sarah Patterson, Mena Stone, Kenneth Williams, Marckese Williams
Walters: Conrad Clark
Wichita Falls, Texas: Shay Hernandez