Ouachita Baptist University will present the Women’s Chorus and Concert Choir in concert Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Mabee Fine Art Center’s McBeth Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.
Women’s Chorus includes 40 members who auditioned for the group. The choir will perform Jim Leininger’s “Deo Gracias,” “Winds of Peace” by Nancy Grundahl, “Old Joe Clark” by Mary Goetze, “Set Me as a Seal” by Richard Nance, Neil Ginsberg’s “Spinning Song,” Lloyd Pfautsch’s “Hello Girls” and “Prayer for the Gifts” by Kinley Lange.
Dr. Becky Morrison, assistant professor of music, is directing Women’s Chorus for the first time. “My favorite part of directing Women’s Chorus is getting to work with great musicians to create beautiful music and getting to know the girls and their stories,” she said.
Jordan Miller, a senior musical theatre major from Rockwall, Texas, has been a member of Women’s Chorus for three years and said, “Women’s Chorus gave me the opportunity to experience choir like I hadn’t before. The small setting creates an environment that caters to learning and the chance to have relationships with other choir members. Women’s Chorus has helped me to grow as a vocalist and I will be sad to leave when I graduate.”
Dr. Gary Gerber, professor of music and director of choral activities, will direct the 125-member Concert Choir for the 10th year. The choir is open to all students on campus, providing everyone an opportunity to participate in choir. “We have students who have never been in a choir before, students who don’t read music, and then we have students who have been in choir for 10 years and voice lessons for six to eight years,” said Gerber.
Concert Choir will perform “Hallelujah, Amen” by George Frederic Handel from his oratorio “Judas Maccabaeus”; “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal,” a traditional hymn arranged by Alice Parker; “Cry Out and Shout” by Knut Nystedt, a contemporary Norwegian composer; and Christopher Tin’s “Baba Yetu,” a Swahili adaptation of “The Lord’s Prayer” and also the theme song to the video game Civilization IV. Next, they will perform “Make Our Garden Grow,” the closing song in Leonard Bernstein’s operetta “Candide,” and the choir will close with Keith Hampton’s “True Light,” a spiritual based on “This Little Light of Mine.”
MaryLacey Thomson, a senior musical theatre major from Plano, Texas, has been a member of Concert Choir for three years and said she participates because of the diversity it offers. “Being a member of this ensemble not only gives us incredible choral direction and coaching but also gives us the opportunity to experience music with such a wide group of students and not just theatre or music majors.”
For more information, contact OBU’s School of Fine Arts at (870) 245-5129.
By Molly Anne Turner