Loras Music Department ends year on a strong note

Concert 1
photo by Ashley Pudil

On May 8, the Loras College Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Bella Voce, Chamber Choir, and Concert Choir came together to showcase their musical talents all together in one place. Because it was also Mother’s Day, the concert was dedicated to all the moms who have been great sources of support for their musically talented students.

Directed by Dr. Glenn Pohland, Associate Professor of Music, the Wind Ensemble kicked off the concert with a pair of upbeat pieces. They first played “‘Tis a Gift,” a rendition of “‘Tis a Gift to be Simple.” Immediately after was “J.S. Jig,” which is a compilation of Bach’s more popular works, including “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan.” It was a very exciting way to kick off the concert and was a good lead into how the rest of the program was going to go.

Following the Wind Ensemble was Bella Voce, the all-women’s choir, directed by Dr. Steven Grives and accompanied by Dr. Luke Tyler, both assistant professors of Music. To begin, they sang a version of “I’ll Be There For You” from the TV show “Friends.” Next, they sang “Songs of a Disney Princess,” a medley of popular Disney princess theme songs. The soloists for the piece were first-years Antonia Rupert as Jasmine and Simone Guio as Mulan, and sophomores Caitlin Hansen as Ariel and Cheyenne Secor as Pocahontas. The final piece that Bella Voce performed was “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical “Hairspray”. This piece was paired with a fun dance that kept the audience captivated.

The Loras College Chamber Singers sang selections from “Down in the Valley” an operetta that they performed on Saturday, May 7. The songs that they chose from the operetta were “Down in the Valley,” “There’s a Little Black Train A-comin,” and “Down in the Valley (Reprise).” The two soloists featured were first-year Logan Schroder and senior Ashley Holubar. The Chamber Singers also sang an arrangement of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” by Dolly Parton. Holubar had the solo part for this piece as well.

The Jazz Ensemble directed by Pohland played two pieces, “The Gremlin’s Revenge” and “Out of the Doghouse.” Both pieces featured several soloists, and each senior got at least one solo. The pieces were fun and perfectly jazzy. All of the musicians looked like they were having fun playing their instruments. From the drums to the saxophones, everyone was bouncing and having a great time with the music.

The Concert Choir directed by Grives sang four pieces, “Agnus Dei,” “How Can I Keep From Singing,” “Loch Lomond” and “Ride On, King Jesus.” The pieces were beautifully arranged and very recognizable for everyone in the audience. While the pieces were familiar, they were arranged in a different way, making them feel almost new to those who have known the songs their whole lives.

“Loch Lomond was my favorite piece to sing. It was so different from all the other pieces,” said sophomore Adrienne Pearson, a member of the Concert Choir.

The concert concluded with two more pieces by the Wind Ensemble. “Tuba Tiger Rag” was a fun Dixieland styled piece that featured the two tubists, sophomore John Hedderman and senior Roman Weinberg. They stole the show with their amazing skills and awesome dance skills, which is impressive while holding a tuba. The final piece of the concert was the “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.” It was easily the fastest and most intense pieces that the Wind Ensemble had tackled over the last year.

“It was such a fun concert,” said sophomore Brody Hooker. “Everyone played and sang so well. I’m so glad I got to bring my mom.”

Despite the few grammatical, spelling, and order issues in the program, the concert went very smoothly and was a fun event for everyone who attended.

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