In Jones Chapel on Sunday, Oct. 6, all of Meredith’s vocal ensembles performed various songs selected to match the Arts and Humanities theme of the semester: activism. All ensemble performances by Meredith students count as Academic and Cultural events and occur twice every semester. This is a most enjoyable way to gain academic and cultural credits while supporting student performers.
The three performing ensembles were Chorus, Encore! and Chorale. Made up of music majors and non-musical majors alike, the three provide students with different singing opportunities. Chorus is the group that tends to require the least amount of outside class time and is, according to Choral Director Shannon Gravelle, “the heart of the vocal ensembles.” Encore! is Meredith’s vocal jazz group that works with early music and deals more with body percussion which results in a bit of a show-choir vibe. All the performers in Encore! sing across the vocal range; one is never just an alto or only a soprano. Chorale is the most well-known of the vocal ensembles as it is the group that deals with the most technically complicated music and tours over the summer and during some semesters.
The majority of songs performed at this concert were acapella, meaning it was purely vocals without any musical accompaniment. The songs that did have accompaniment were accompanied by a piano, played by Ms. Catherine Hamner.
All of the pieces were performed remarkably well, with an even balance of sound between all the altos and sopranos. At no point was the piano loud enough to overtake the vocals and all the high notes were hit without a screechy, strained quality. Overall, the performance was great and it was a privilege to be present for those students’ midterm (especially because a few students won’t be returning next semester to sing in the Chapel).
By Lilly R. Wood, A&E Editor