The upcoming Northwestern State University Choral Preview Concert will showcase four student choirs as a way to introduce their talents to the community. The concert will take place Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.
Dr. Nicholaus Cummins, director of choral activities, explained there are usually no choir concerts until the middle of the semester, so having a preview show allows people to see what the choirs are working on in the meantime.
Unlike a standard concert, students will have their music on stage to assist them since they are still learning and honing their skills.
Cummins created a similar preview event last year with the Chamber Choir and found the fast learning pace “set the whole semester in a good direction.”
Setting the pace at the beginning of the year made it easier for students to apply that skill to learning new music later. He therefore extended the preview concert to all choirs this year.
One advantage of the preview concert is having the four choirs perform together. Students can experience what it is like in a state or national choir, and new members can acclimate to performing in front of an audience. The event will also feature a range of styles without centralizing around a theme, which helps students learn to perform different vocal and musical types.
Cummins hopes to continue this event every semester and organize more performances with other choirs.
Chamber Choir member Syroi Webb is excited for the upcoming year and the challenging pieces to come with it. Her favorite piece so far this semester, “O pos omnes,” is a Latin song originally performed by Roman Catholic choirs and adapted from the Book of Lamentations.
Her overall experience with choir has pushed her out of her comfort zone and increased her confidence.
Michael Martin, another choir member, agreed with Webb and said his involvement has taught him valuable skills and helped him grow as a performer. He said he’s looking forward to the preview concert specifically because it made everyone work harder.
While most songs are a work-in-progress, those that will be featured for this concert include “Thy Little Ones,” performed by the women’s choir; “Let Them Hear You”; and “Alleluia.” “This Is the Day” was featured at the President’s Investiture ceremony on Sept. 15, performed by the Chamber and Concert choirs.