This past Saturday, March 16, all the voices of Drew came together in the Concert Hall for the Choral Collage Concert. The concert, modeled off of the President’s Mosaic concerts previously put on by the department, celebrated the diverse voices of the forest who got the chance to sing some favorites from the choral repertoire. The Drew music department’s choirs, Chorale and Choral Union, were joined on stage by the a cappella groups All of the Above, On a Different Note and 36 Madison Avenue, as well as the Ubuntu Pan-African Choir.
The Chorale and Choral Union, under the direction of Professor Matt Webb, are known for singing more traditional chamber music and masterworks written specifically for choir. At this concert, however, the choirs performed choral favorites that even non-singers in the audience recognized, like “Sure on This Shining Night” by Morten Lauridsen, “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” by Moses Hogan, “The Road Home” by Stephen Paulus and “You Are Good” by Israel Houghton, making the performance an absolute thrill to hear.
COURTESY OF TYRIK ONCE
Another highlight of the performance was the addition of the conducting skills of Benjamin Schneider (‘19), who conducted two different songs for the Drew University Chorale. Schneider is planning on pursuing choral conducting after Drew, making it a great opportunity for him and the singers of the Chorale. One of those songs, “Petals,” was also an original composition by Jackie Moldawsky (‘19), making the concert a true showcase of the talents of Drew singers.
Each of the acapella groups did a great job of performing the best of their repertoires. From senior solos to beloved audience favorites, each group really showed off their amazing talent. Each group brought their own personal style to the stage and audiences absolutely loved them!
Last, but certainly not least, was the Ubuntu Pan-African choir under the direction of Mark Miller. Composed of undergrads, theological students and community members, Ubuntu brought the message of community home with songs like “Child of God.” Miller commented during the concert that the song has become the unofficial fight song of LGBTQ+ Methodists fighting for their place and right within the Methodist Church. The choir had the entire audience singing and clapping along, which definitely primed them for the concert’s finale.
COURTESY OF TYRIK ONCE
In an epic finish to the entire night, all six of the performing choirs joined each other on stage to perform Schneider’s arrangement of the U2 hit song “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” With Miller directing the choir and inciting audience participation, Webb on piano, Max Vovenko (’20) on guitar and Calvin Sellers on bass, it was truly a grand finale. The combination of over one hundred voices, with solos by Ava Valentino (’20), John Thatcher (’20) and Jill Tunidor, made it into the highlight of the evening. Audience members left the Concert Hall clapping and singing along with the choir as they sang their encore.
Coming up in the concert hall, you will not want to miss AOTA 25th anniversary concert this Sunday at 3 p.m.! But first, head over to Caitlin Shannon (‘19) in her Senior Clarinet Recital on Friday at 8 p.m.