The Knox College Choir performed their send-off concert on Saturday at First Lutheran Church in Galesburg. The choir, directed by professor and Chair of Music Laura Lane, performed the program for their upcoming spring break 2010 tour in the Catalonia region of Spain. The choir has been preparing the pieces for the duration of the term.
The program included pieces by a variety of composers, from Eric Whitacre to Moses Hogan to Rossini. Early in the program the audience responded particularly to Venite, Exultemus Domino by Jan Pieterszoon Sweelink. Later, the Knox Chamber Singers were showcased, performing several pieces including Hodie Christus Natus Est by William Byrd, a selection from Morten Lauridsen’s Six “Fire Songs” and the overture to The Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini, arranged by Runswick. Professor Lane explained some of the music theory of the chords in Six “Fire Songs” and the audience was particularly entertained by The Barber of Seville.
The whole choir returned for the third part of the concert. This was probably the strongest section of the concert, including Water Night by Eric Whitacre, A Child’s Prayer by James MacMillan and the haunting Knowee by Australian composer Stephen Leek. Knowee, inspired by an aborigine folk tale, tells the story of a goddess searching the night carrying a lantern. Four sopranos carrying lanterns dispersed around the church to sing solo parts for the song. The atmosphere in the church during the song was electric, and the audience applauded loudly at the end.
A Child’s Prayer included solos by seniors Jen Milius and Margaret Wehr. The piece was extremely well performed and both soloists did an excellent job. Milius was particularly good, not just on A Child’s Prayer, but throughout the entire concert. Milius seemed to carry several songs. Milius also performed as part of a trio with senior Chanel Miller and first-year Laurel Tippe on Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel by Moses Hogan in the fourth part of the program. In the fourth part, the audience responded particularly strongly to the Hogan piece and the song Shenandoah, arranged by James Erb.
The concert concluded with a rendition of the Knox College Hymn. All previous members of the choir who were present joined the current choir.