The Amarillo College Concert Choir performed at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church April 25. The music was well-suited for the church because of the style and the acoustics, said Dr. Steven Weber, AC choral activities director.
A surprise organ solo of “Joyful, Joyful” was performed by Noel-Paul Laur, who has been with the choir since 2001. The female choir members dressed in floor-length black dresses, and the men wore tuxedos performed “O Clap your Hands” and “Trois Chanson de Charles d’Orleans,” which was sung in French.
Weber said that after rehearsal, he told the choir they should have done the whole program in French, and they all groaned. “But I am so proud of them,” he said, “because that piece was so hard for them to learn since it is graduate-level music, and many of these students are freshmen.”
The choir finished its performance with “Awake the Harp,” “Sure on this Shining Night,” “Saints Bound for Heaven” and “Lead me Home” by Barnum. “They really did an amazing job,” said Beverly Ask, a relative of Janae Ask. The audience agreed, giving them a warm round of applause.
“The music definitely provoked emotions in me,” said Tammy Robinson, who greeted her niece Danielle Gray with a warm hug and tears in her eyes after the performance. “They couldn’t have picked a better place to perform,” Robinson said, “The acoustics together with their voices were amazing. They were wonderful.”
“We will represent Amarillo College with dignity and class,” Weber said, referring to the concert tour to Lubbock, Abilene and San Antonio.
Cara Collins, who was honored as this year’s outstanding music major, sang lead soprano in Trois Chanson. Her voice was crystal clear with a warm, full-bodied tone. Collins is the recipient of a voice scholarship to the State University of New York Purchase College. Music major Nicholas Levy sang tenor solo in “The Harp.” His smooth voice was pleasing to hear. Tyler Long, also a music major, had his deep, rich baritone featured in “Lead me Home.” All three also are members of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which Levy said is awesome and fun to be a part of.
On April 18, the six-member Ensemble performed in the Greeley Jazz Festival at the University of Northern Colorado. The members are Meghan Henry, Collins, Levy, Kameron Bennett and Long. Weber performs with them as the sixth member. This is the first year those students have performed that style of music.
They performed a Brazilian samba in Portuguese, “The Bumble Bee” and Dobbin’s “Flowery Vale.” Their synchronicity and utter enjoyment is apparent when they perform.
They earned four outstanding solo awards, the most they ever have taken in one year, according to Weber. The judges complimented the group on its professionalism. A director from Kansas told Weber he requires students to listen to the AC ensemble perform each year because it sets the standard for quality performance.
The Jazz Combos 1 and 2, directed by Jim Laughlin, also performed in Greeley. They performed various styles from ballads to blues with some pop, bebop and funk thrown in for good measure. Laughlin said both groups did well and that the experience gave those students exposure to historically significant jazz artists.
As April winds die down, the music heats up, making minds take wing. The imagination takes flight, and life becomes a little more charming.