Despite challenges, choir has holiday spirit

Walking down the decorated halls and walk ways of Gannon University`s festive campus, it’s not difficult to get in the holiday spirit.

Gannon is providing much merriment through the blistery cold month of December — ’tis the season, after all.

The holiday cheer is not limited to just decorations; events will be occurring all over campus, including the annual “Holiday Mixed Choir Concert,” which is set for 4 p.m Saturday at The Schuster Theatre.

This year, the mixed choir will be presenting a series of pieces to help Schuster Theatre audience members get into the holiday spirit and experience the choir members’ love and dedication for the arts.

The mixed choir offers students an opportunity to grow by immersing themselves in the art of singing and enhancing their abilities through routine practice and self-discovery.

Lauren Chounet, a senior criminal justice major, has been a member of mixed choir for years and finds choir has helped her gain a new skill set.

“I had been trained to read instrumental music, but never how to sing vocally,” Chounet said. “With the help of our director, I have gained new skills and new confidence that I have been lacking when singing.”

Fellow choir member Corielle Stickles, a senior history major, also finds choir has helped her to learn and grow during her time at Gannon.

“[Choir] has given me the ability to train [my voice] and have fun while doing so,” Stickles said.

The seniors have found their growth comes from the wide variety of pieces each concert presents.

This year’s annual holiday concert will feature pieces such as “Ma Navu,” a Jewish folksong that contains not only English but Hebrew. For many students, this is the first Hebrew piece they will sing and this not only challenges them, but helps them to grow as vocalists.

Other vocal selections the choir will be preforming include “Poverty Carol,” “The Eternal Gates” and “I Am His Child,” a religious piece that focuses on the spiritual aspect of the holiday season.

Many of the seniors, including Chounet, said they are also excited about the solos they will perform.

“The piece means a lot to me, and is very emotional for me to do, because of my upcoming graduation,” Chounet said.

This holiday concert will be a celebration of both the holiday season and the choir members graduating in a few weeks. The mixed choir has faced a few challenges this semester.

A combination of losing a large amount of talent when the spring 2014 class graduated and the remaining members  having very limited availability to rehearse left the mixed choir at a disadvantage.

However, with talent replenished by the incoming freshman and the students’ dedication to the music, the mixed choir is prepared for its concert Saturday.

Roberta Stoughton directs the mixed choir.

“Regardless of the fact we do not ever meet together because our schedules are so diverse, we have assembled a phenomenal group of singers this fall, who are eager to sing and provide you with one of the best concerts you will hear this semester,” Stoughton said.

The annual Mixed Choir Holiday Concert will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Schuster Theatre.

 

ALIZABETH LENG

leng00[email protected]