The ACU choirs will give their first major concert Tuesday. The performance will feature a wide variety of pieces sung by the music department’s three choral groups.
The University Chorale, the A Cappella Chorus and the new ACU Singers will repeat the performance the following Saturday at 11:45 a.m. for the Homecoming Choral Concert, a popular pre-game activity for many alumni and campus visitors.
The concerts will comprise pieces in many languages and styles. Highlights will include a traditional Russian tongue-twister sung at an exhausting speed, a powerful arrangement of an African-American spiritual and a haunting dissonant tune sung with the words of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 – “shall I compare thee to a summer’s day.”
“The variety of genres we’re singing will be entertaining” said Joseph Burnam, freshman music education major from Mesquite, Texas.
Burnam is a member of the A Cappella, a group that was generally not open to freshman until Dr. Sean Pullen became director of Choral Activities in 2009. Pullen conducts all three ensembles and is always looking for more students to make their voices part of the school’s rich choral tradition.
The University Chorale has increased to 63 members this year. Membership in the U Chorale is offered to any student interested in choral singing each semester. ACU’s audition-only A Cappella Chorus is made of 55 students this year. Dating back to 1932, it is the oldest A Cappella chorus in the Southwest. Students from any major may audition for a place in the A Cappella, and the current group features students who study all across campus, such as Kaytlin Wiseman.
“I’ve been in choirs forever, and I’m not going to stop now.” said Wiseman, senior math education major from Glen Rose. “It keeps my voice in good condition for worship.”
This concert is will also premiere the ACU Singers, a newly formed group of 16 select students.
“The purpose of the group is to explore music that is meant for smaller vocal groups” Pullen said.
The group performs both formal works, and popular pieces like the Gershwin brothers’ I Got Rhythm.
Living up to his campus reputation, Pullen starts rehearsals exactly on time and intensely uses every minute.
“Pullen has done an amazing job preparing us for these two concerts” says Arielle Collier, senior vocal performance major from Mesquite, Texas.
The concerts are next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the recital hall of the Williams Performing Arts Center, and in the same location Saturday at 11:45 a.m. Admission is free.