Choir heading to NE campus for fall concert

Victoria Mcginty, Staff writer

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For many years, the Mercyhurst Concert Choir has been bringing together a variety of singers from numerous walks of life, majors and musical abilities to perform choral pieces.

On Oct. 23 at 7 p.m., the Mercyhurst Concert Choir is set to journey to the Mercyhurst Nort East campus to showcase a variety of pieces the choir has been working on since late August.

This concert will take place in St. Mary’s Chapel.

This concert, “Music for an Autumn Evening” will be the first choir concert of the 2019-2020 year, although the choir did provide music as the prelude to the Mass of the Holy Spirit.

Combining sacred and secular selections, the concert choir ultimately hopes to instill a blend of faith and culture to the Mercyhurst community.

Under the direction of C. Thomas Brooks, the group now includes 50 singers.

Brooks first directed the choir back in 1972, embarked on other opportunities in 1974 and later returned to Mercyhurst in 2017.

When discussing the present state of the choir, Brooks heavily stressed the importance of having a balance of both sacred and secular pieces on the program.

He wants to challenge his students to establish personal and musical growth.

“When it comes to music, my goal is to go deeper into the text of the pieces and be able to identify the deeper symbols enrooted in the music,” said Brooks.

To start off the concert choir’s two-act performance, the choir will sing “Hodie Christus Natus Est” by Giovanni Bassano, a 16th-century Italian composer.

The sacred half of the performance will include “Cantate Domino” by Giovanni Croce and “Heilig” by Felix Mendelssohn.

Audience members who were in attendance at the Mass of the Holy Spirit will recognize René Clausen’s “Set Me As a Seal” and a setting of “The Prayer of Saint Francis,” as well as John Leavitt’s “Festival Sanctus.”

Following the sacred half of the concert, Mercyhurst’s Chamber Choir will perform pieces including “You Are the New Day” as performed by The King’s Singers and “The Blue Bird” by Charles Villiers Stanford.

The Concert Choir will then finish the performance with selections including “This Little Light of Mine.”

The concert is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Patti Sullivan at psullivan@mercyhurst.edu or 814-725-6277.

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