Music Department Succeeds in ‘Death, Dying’

November 05, 2010 / by / 0 Comment

By Brooke Bellah
Communications Staff

GCU’s Music Department performed songs centered on the theme of “Heaven and Earth: Music for Death, Dying and Beyond” on Thursday night at Ethington Theatre.

A concert devoted to songs about death may seem depressing.  But the performances were anything but melancholy.  The purpose behind the theme was to send a message of hope to those who may be dealing with the effects of death — the hope that the Christian finds in salvation.

“As performers and singers, we get to touch the lives of others, especially with the music we are singing tonight,” said Justice Odem, a freshman member of the Canyon Chorale.

The program included musical selections from a range of genres, including impressive operatic solos from tenor William Ensdley (Puccini’s “E Lucevan le Stelle”) and soprano Amanda Gardner (Purcell’s “Dido’s Lament”), as well as the gospel song “Don’t You Want to Go” by the Canyon Singers.

Juan Hernandez, assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production and the evening’s conductor, said he chose the theme because “we live in a society fascinated with death.” 

When horror movies take in millions of dollars in their first weekend, this certainly seems to be the case.

“This is the first GCU concert I’ve been to,” said sophomore Shannon Walsh. “I’m friends with a lot of the people in the choir. I didn’t know they could sing that well.”

Canyon Chorale member Arianna Austin was inspired by the theme.

“The experience of singing about heaven and what happens after we die is enlightening,” she said. “It motivates me to live each day with the hope of heaven in mind.”

Brooke Bellah is a junior, majoring in English Literature. After graduating, she plans to go to law school.


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