This past week, Loras College was proud to host the 2015 Holy Family Choral Festival, which annually brings together the student choirs from all the Catholic elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges in the Dubuque area.
After some initial words by President Jim Collins, the Festival opened with the Clarke Collegiate Singers performing an extended version of “Danny Boy” by Frederic Weatherly. The Wahlert High a cappella group shortly followed with Robert Shaw’s “Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal” and “Nearer, My God, to Thee” by James Stevens. The Mazzuchelli 7th and 8th Grade school choir then performed the Harold Arlen classic “I’ve Got The World on a String.” Finally, the Loras College Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Steven Grives, sang “The Ground” by Ola Gjeilo, followed by “He Never Failed Me Yet” by Robert Ray.
In the time between each of these pieces, the 5th graders of Holy Ghost Elementary, Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Resurrection Elementary, St. Anthony Elementary, and St. Columbkille Elementary treated the audience to a choral “Pledge of Allegiance/America the Beautiful,” “Gloria,” and Don Besig’s “Get On Board this Train.”
To top off the night, the previous individual choirs all came together for one last song: “Shine Down” by Bill Smiley. It was then that all the talent and enthusiasm the students had for their music really shined, and the ending splendor of their final united harmony was a brilliant show of effort on their part.
“Music is a lifelong skill, and a lifelong benefit,” President Collins aptly said. This year’s Choral Festival was an exquisite example of the greatness that can be accomplished through the power of song and how it greatly furthers communication and imagination in the student community.