University choirs take the music outdoors

Campus Times
April 16, 2004

photo by Jenna Campbell

The University of La Verne choir performed on the Quad Wednesday. Choir Director and Music Department Chairman Scott Farthing said he thought the singers would feel liberated by performing outside. Melissa Stahly, Whitney Wickham, Jennifer Cantero, Jillian Hastings, Brianna Roth, Renee Soliz and Eva Hinjoza performed works including “Sing Me to Heaven” and “Mouth Music.”

by Jay Aguila
Staff Writer

After finishing a five-day, 5,000-mile concert tour, the University of La Verne choirs gave an astounding performance Wednesday afternoon in the Quad as part of the lunch-time Music on the Quad series.

After performing in front of thousands of people on the concert tour – with engagements in Oregon, Idaho and Nevada – the University Chorale returned to ULV to give the La Verne community a taste of what they’d missed out on if they were not able to catch any of the tour appearances.

Wednesday’s performance started off with the Women’s Ensemble performing pieces from their concert tour.

“I think that we’ll do fine because we have been on a choir tour and the songs are the same,” said Corina Dubon, a freshman psychology major, just before the performance.

The women’s ensemble pleased the audiences’ ears with songs like “Sing Me To Heaven” by Daniel Gawthrop, and “Sound the Trumpet” by Henry Purcell. The new sounds of “Mouth Music” by Dolores Keane and John Faulkner provoked the greatest audience response.

“If you can’t make out the words, that’s because you’re not suppose to,” said Farthing. “Music on the Quad is a way to bring artists ... outside in the open, to have a campus that has music,” said Scott Farthing, choir director and music department chairman. Many college campuses have held similar performances.

Bands, groups and choirs come out and sing to the public in an open environment welcoming every member of the community.

La Verne has latched on to this idea and is regularly bringing the talents of the music department out to the public.

“We are a part of the music department and it’s our turn to come out here and sing,” said Cassandra Campos, a junior radio broadcasting major.

“It was a very different and articulate sound that captivated me, even though I had no idea what the meanings were,” said Jackie Avilez, a sophomore psychology major.

The song was supposed to represent the sound and dance of music without using real words. It accomplished this and more and the audience gave it their grandest applause.

Following the women’s performance came the men’s ensemble.

The men’s performance matched the high level of the women’s performance.

Among the selections were “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin and “Adoramus te Christe” by Orlandus Lassus.

And like the women, the men’s performance of “Kpanlongo,” arranged by Derek Bremel, created a rhythmic sound.

As the ensemble sang Nathan Lahr accompanied the singers playing a West African drum to give the performance a heartbeat of percussion.

“We were kind of nervous of being out here in a non-acoustic area, but we’ve been rehearsing out here and it sounds pretty nice, and better than we thought,” said Michael Stallings, a senior double major in international business and music. The last performances were by the University of La Verne Chorale. Their performances of “Tango To Evora” by Loreena McKennitt and arranged by Jon Washburn, and “The Awakening” by Joseph Martin, were a force of sound that basked the audience with the best sounds a college chorale can give.

“They know how proud I am of them,” Farthing said. “How can you not love your job when you work with these kinds of people?”