By Shianne Taylor
At 7:30 p.m. on 16 Nov 2021 in the First Presbyterian Church, A holiday concert was performed by the Cameron University Choir and the Eisenhower high school choir.
The Cameron University choir performed a total of six songs five alone and one combined with the high school choir. Eisenhower performed five songs total, four alone and one with the University choir. The song the combined choirs were scheduled to sing together was called “Veni Veni Emmanuel” by Michael John Trotta released in 1978.
A Bachelor of Arts in Music Vocal Performance with a minor in Theater Arts, Senior, Heather Martin mentioned at their last rehearsal before showtime that they had not practiced with Eisenhower’s choir yet.
“We are supposed to put it together tonight,” said Martin. “Honestly, we were all terrified of it at the beginning and we heard that the high schoolers were struggling with it as well. It’s a hard piece, but I’ve heard that the high schoolers are doing really well with it now and I think that is going to be fine.”
The Cameron University Choir has been practicing for this concert for about a month and were ready to perform for a crowd.
“The Jingle Bells piece, we did do that last year, but because of COVID we didn’t get a chance to actually perform it,” said Heather. “So we are excited to do that this year.”
The choir sang a variety of songs, some familiar and some not so familiar, as mentioned by Tom Willoughby, accompanist and pianist for the University choir.
“They all have a message of joy and peace,” said Willoughby. “You know I think that when you are working with a college choir you have to give them a challenge, chorley and vocally. I think that we have done a good job with this…and I think it will bring joy to a lot of people who are here.”
Martin, one of the soloists for the Cameron Choir, talked about how she has been performing for a while now so doing a solo doesn’t scare her as much anymore, but she still gets a little “jittery”. She talked about how she likes being a part of the choir.
“It’s coming together like a family basically. We all grow a lot and we bond through all this,” said Heather. “It’s everybody, like being just as excited about it as the other person. When we’ve been singing the piece we’re doing with Dr. Little, who’s one of our professors in the music department… I’ve just felt such energy through it and it’s stuff like this that can make you so emotional. It’s amazing so I think that if we all realize the importance of the impact that we can have on other people’s listening then it’s really really worth it and that’s what makes it all come together.”
Accompanist and Pianist Willoughby emphasized some of the messages that Martin spoke of about seeing everything and everyone work together to have a great performance.
“I think just seeing their growth,” said Willoughby. “Not only their musicianship, but just their camaraderie with one another and to see that the spirit of unity coming together as we have a common goal.”
Christian Morren the Cameron University Choir Director reiterated Willoughby’s words in that from the beginning of the year till now the students have come so far together and individually.
“ You know this is going to be most of their careers,” said Morren. “So it’s great to see, like people just giving their all and knowing that they’re going to go and carry on this music for the future.”
Martin had one piece of advice for anyone looking to join the Cameron University choir.
“Just do it. It doesn’t matter if you have a wide range of experience, we have people in our choir who don’t know how to read music, but we help them through it. It’s a big learning experience and if you have a passion for music and if you can hold a tune come join our choir we need people we welcome anyone.”