Concert choir to sing at St. Peter Cathedral

Caitlyn Lear, Staff writer

The Mercyhurst University Concert Choir will be singing as a part of the St. Peter Cathedral Concert Series on Nov. 13, at 4 p.m.
Last year, the Mercyhurst Concert Choir sang the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vespers in Church Slavonic at St. Peter Cathedral, as part of a larger choir.
Since the event was such a success, William Herring, the director of the cathedral, invited the Mercyhurst choir to return.
The choir is made up of 45 student voices.
The varied repertoire that will be performed includes pieces from the Renaissance up to the present.
“The music is sacred in nature with works sung a cappella,” said Rebecca Ryan, director of the choir.
Ryan is the Admissions Coordinator and Director of Choirs.
Under her direction, the choirs of Mercyhurst have performed with D’Angelo Chamber Orchestra, the Erie Chamber Orchestra, the Erie Philharmonic, the Young Artists Debut Orchestra and the Hanover Chamber Symphony, and some members of the choir tour internationally.
“Mrs. Ryan is a wonderful choir director and teacher. She’s always giving us opportunities to learn and grow and improve our musicianship by always choosing beautiful (and challenging) choir music, by having us sight-read, sing in quartets, conduct, sing in foreign languages, accompany, lead warm-ups and just about anything else she can think of that will help us become the musicians we need to be,” said Jeanette Fournier, a third–year choir member.
Students of the choir will be featured in small ensembles, quartets and also as conductors.
The Carpe Diem Women ensemble will be featured.
This ensemble participated in the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Festival.
Three of the pieces being performed, Palestrina’s “Adoramus te” and “Choose Something Like a Star” by Randall Thompson and “A Celtic Blessing” by Dave Riley will be led by student conductors.
The three student conductors are Nicholas Nasibyan, a composition major, and Shannon Holley and Bethany Sulecki, both senior Music Education majors.
Since the performance was so successful last year, Mercyhurst Concert Choir will be performing a section of the Rachmaninoff All Night Vespers.
They will be singing the sixth, “Bogoroditse Devo,” better known as “Ave Maria.”
“It is a beloved and favorite moment from that work,” Ryan said.
The performance will be held at St. Peter Roman Catholic Cathedral on West 10th Street. It is free and open to the public.