Love in Harmony at the Spring Choir Concert

Samira+Shobeiri+%E2%80%A2+Volunteer+Photographer

Samira Shobeiri • Volunteer Photographer

When the Seattle University choir performs their seasonal show this spring, love will be in the air and our ears. This year’s spring choir concert, “All Our Loves” will let love blossom like a flower in its attendees’ hearts.

“It’s in our mission statement that, through outstanding, great music, we aim to bring more love into the world,” director of vocal and choral music Joy Sherman said. “This world needs love.”

Featuring a magical selection of music from composers like Eric Whitacre and Claudio Monteverdi, as well as Seattle University’s assistant director of choral music Lee Peterson, the choir looks to weave tunes and tales dedicated to the loves of ours hearts. Romantic interests, familial relationships and even pirates all star as love’s object of affection.

“There are a number of ways to interpret [love],” said assistant director of choral music Lee Peterson. “The way we’re interpreting it is, you love different things in different ways.”

Peterson’s composition includes the character Mr. Toad, from the children’s book “The Wind in the Willows.” Written for the men’s chorus, the main focus of the piece is love of self, as the character is a well-known as a narcissist.

A fun number to look out for at the concert will be the Andalusian folk song, “El Vito.” Because the song requires four hands on the piano, Peterson will be playing with Jamie Namkung, one of the Pigott Artists in residence this year, for both performances.

With the fun numbers also come sad pieces. “At the Tomb of my Beloved” is a 16th century piece by Monteverdi, written for the composer’s wife who died, and a piece by Whitacre set to a text by poet James Joyce. Both exemplify the melancholic nature of heartbroken love.

“There’s silly things, there’s intensely sad things, there’s touching things,” Sherman said. “There’s a wide variety of pieces this year.”

The concert has taken a lot of dedication from both the choir directors and students. Ranging anywhere from three to six hours a week in practice time, students are required to commit at the very beginning of the academic year to allow the choir to become a cohesive unit.

“There’s a lot of training and teaching that goes on,” Sherman said. “You have to train your instrument so you can express the music and your instrument is your voice and your whole body.”

The spring choir concert is the last of three concerts performed throughout the year. Rehearsal of the pieces started in January.

“I just have to say that the growth of the students over the year is nothing short of phenomenal and for me that is the most important thing that happens,” Sherman said. “It’s more important than anything else, how they grow, not only as singers but as persons through this process.”

For student conductor Jacob Malpocker, the most rewarding part of all the hard work that goes into the production is mastering a particularly challenging song and conveying its message.

“[At that point] you’re not just singing notes and rhythms anymore. You’re making music,” Malpocker said. “I think that’s what makes the world go round.”

This ‘message’ is one of the most emphasized parts of performing for the choir. According to both Sherman and Peterson, it’s important to share this love through music to the community, since everyone who comes to the concert is in a different place emotionally. Regardless of who attends, the performance has a
major impact.

“It’s fun for us when we know we’re ready [to perform]. That’s part of what makes it important to me,” Peterson said. “It’s to feel that shift when people own their power. Together, we are so much more than the sum of each individual.”

As the concert draws near, the love in each piece continues to grow.

“What this concert means to me is sort of the end of a long journey,” said sophomore choir member Bryan Herr. “It shows us how far we’ve changed since the beginning of the year…in addition to a celebration of all we’ve done this year.”

The spring choir concert “All Our Loves” will be showing on Friday, April 29 and Saturday April 30 at 8 p.m. in St. Joseph church. Tickets are $7 for students and $18 for general admission.

Vikki may be reached at [email protected]