GCU’s Choirs End on an Impressive Note

May 06, 2011 / by / 0 Comment

By Doug Carroll

Communications Staff

The spectacular return of quality choral music to campus was celebrated Thursday night at Ethington Theatre with the Music Department’s final concert of the school year.

Performances by the Canyon Chorale and Canyon Singers, along with solo selections by soprano Christina Cullers and pianist Julianne Forté, served as confirmation that GCU lost nothing as a magnet for talent in the arts during a four-year hiatus for the program.

Assistant Dean Juan Hernandez and vocal coach Sheila Corley clearly know how to develop that talent, and their second year of teamwork should be even better.

The Commencement concert functioned much like a greatest-hits performance, with music that had been performed earlier in the year. The range in the seven choral numbers was substantial, from the doo-wop rhythms of Shaw’s “Java Jive” to the classic spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” to Cymbala’s achingly beautiful “Lead Me Lord.”

Cullers and Forté were announced as GCU Scholarship Foundation grant winners, along with pianist Tabitha Kaminski.

Cullers sang an aria from Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” and Forté played Debussy’s “Jardis sous la pluie.” Both are supremely talented performers for whom the sky is the limit. Forté, who finds time also to accompany the New Life Singers and sing in the Chorale, was named Musician of the Year.

Sam Brunner received the award of Musician of the Year for non-music majors, prompting Hernandez to comment, “He even takes music theory as an elective, and who does that?” The Chorale, which performed five of the seven songs, includes a number of students majoring in other fields of study.

Applications are now being accepted for foundation music scholarships for fall. For more information, call Madeline Winney of the GCU Scholarship Foundation at 602.639.6310.

Reach Doug Carroll at 639.8011 or [email protected].

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