GCU’s Choirs Sing of Spring in Concert
By Doug Carroll
Spring was in the air only if you imagined it on an extra-chilly Tuesday evening, but the scent of something more powerful — success — was unmistakably strong.
The Music Department’s next-to-last choral concert of the year, “Spring Is in the Air!” at Ethington Theatre, put an exclamation point on an outstanding series of performances by GCU’s choirs under the direction of Juan Hernandez, assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts and Production.
The second semester has been particularly busy for the choirs, with three major concerts since mid-January. A fourth and final concert will be on Friday, April 22, with “Music for Good Friday” at First Southern Baptist Church.
The work of Hernandez and the music students under his charge has been one of the highlights of 2010-11 at GCU. No one knew what to expect last fall with the resurrection of the performing-arts program, but the University’s music, theatre and dance students — many of them freshmen — have left no doubt that it was the right move. Clearly, there is much to look forward to.
“I have a rough life, working every day with these people,” Hernandez joked after an especially brilliant Debussy piano solo performed Tuesday by junior Julianna Forté.
The 50-minute program of mostly Classical selections about love featured the Canyon Singers and the larger Canyon Chorale. Vocal soloists included sopranos Stephanie Kaye, Christina Cullers and Angela Roman, with the latter two singing Puccini in Italian. Roman’s playful interpretation of “Quando m’en vo soletta,” the Musetta’s Waltz from “La Bohème,” was an absolute delight.
The centerpiece of the concert was Brahms’ “Liebeslieder-Walzer Op. 52,” with the 50-voice Chorale being used by Hernandez in a variety of combinations. English translations were provided. (You’ve got to like six male voices singing, in German, “O women, O women, / how they melt one with bliss! / I would have become a monk long ago / if it were not for women!”)
The theatre was about two-thirds full for “Spring Is in the Air,” indicating solid support for a music program that has made one impressive re-introduction under Hernandez, vocal coach Sheila Corley and COFAP Dean Claude Pensis.
Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or email@example.com.