Choir concert at St. Luke’s

Carlena Bressanelli, Staff writer

On April 3 at 8 p.m., a choir concert at St. Luke Catholic Church will feature both the Mercyhurst University Concert Choir and the Mercyhurst Chamber Singers.
Thomas Brooks, director of Choirs, is the conductor, and freshman Music Education major Paul Caram will be the accompanist.
This is Brooks’ second year as the director of Choirs, but he started the program in the early 1970s. He left for a while and then came back.
He is the choir conductor of Lyricora in Boston and the managing director of Salzburg Institute of Religion, Culture and The Fine Arts.
Brooks said he feels good about the concert, and he thinks everyone is definitely prepared.
About 40 singers will take part. The songs they are singing are Lenten, in honor of the current season.
They will be singing pieces including “The Seven Last Words” and “Christ Be Thine the Glory” by Heinrich Schutz.
Brooks said that Schutz was from Germany and studied in Venice, then went back to Germany with the knowledge he learned.
He went to a very important Catholic school at that time.
“We want to bring back some of that knowledge for our audience and for our students,” Brooks said.
“The music is not just for entertainment, but to educate the students from what has happened historically in choir music,” Brooks said.
When programming the concert, Brooks thought that since the songs are Lenten, they should be sung in a church.
St. Luke’s was “glad to have them” when Brooks approached church officials about hosting the concert.
When asked about the upcoming concert, sophomore Music Therapy major Megan Shoen said she is “pretty excited, because we get to showcase what we’ve been working on in rehearsals.”
“I feel like everyone is prepared pretty well for it, because we’ve been working on the songs near the beginning of this semester, and we have a few selections that we’ve actually done since last semester,” Shoen said.
“We are singing a variety of things,” Shoen said.
“Some of them are ‘Here I am Lord,’ ‘Were you There,’ ‘Christ Be Thine the Glory,’ which will be sung after the Chamber Singers sing ‘The Last Seven Words,’ and also a really cool piece called ‘The Fawcon.”’
Freshman Music Education major Hayley Ripple said the concert has “great selections for both the large concert choir ensemble and the select chamber singers ensemble.”
“The large ensemble is debuting a new piece called ‘The Fawcon’ that is well written and has a special place in my heart,” Ripple said.
“I think the group has been working very hard, and we are excited to share what we have been doing over the last semester,” Ripple said.
This concert is free and open to the public.