campus chorus and director

Director John Campbell with Chorale members who will have featured roles in their home church performances Sunday, March 8 – pianist Mary Alice Birdwhistell of Lawrenceburg and Tyler Wash of Danville, both seniors

By Tori Bachman-Johnson ‘12

With music from all over the map, the upcoming Concert Choir and Chorale performance will be a little like the weather in Kentucky – give it a little while, and it’ll change. On Thursday, March 12 at 8 p.m., the groups will present a free, joint concert in John L. Hill Chapel. “Choir Concert I” will last about an hour. Also, mark your calendar for a sequel on May 3 (see below).

The multi-cultural selection begins with a Swahili welcoming song by the Concert Choir, complete with drum beats and dancing, followed by a mix of American folk songs. Director John Campbell pulled out “Tico-Tico,” an older work with some Latin flavor, for the occasion as well. “In our library some copies are falling apart, but the piece sizzles!” he said.

The fun and challenging piece is sure to draw the audience in with its lively salsa rhythm. The group ends their set with Glenn Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Seniors Ryland Pope and Liz Simpson will be featured as student conductors, and Dr. Mami Hayashida will accompany the group.

The Chorale performance also features several student conductors, including senior Tyler Wash on “The Name of Jesus” and sophomore Chuck Harris on “My Song of the Night,” a southern folk hymn. Daniel Ng will conduct “In Paradisum,” a Latin piece based on Gregorian chants but harmonized in a 20th century way.

Campbell expects that, while many audience members may not have heard this type of music, “they’ll surprise themselves by liking it.” Ng will also accompany the group, as will senior Mary Alice Birdwhistell “It Is Well With My Soul” on piano. The Chorale set also includes “He, Watching Over Israel,” in honor of German composer Felix Mendelssohn’s 200th birthday.

If you can’t make it to Part One on March 12, plan on attending the “Choir Concert II: The Sequel” on Sunday, May 3 at 3 p.m. in Hill Chapel. The John Campbell-twist will be that the Chorale will emphasize secular music this time and the Concert Choir will sing sacred songs.

On Sunday, March 8, the Chorale group will take their set on the road to the home churches of two members – Wash’s Lexington Avenue Baptist in Danville at 10:45 a.m. and Birdwhistell’s Sand Spring Baptist in Lawrenceburg and 7 p.m.