Spring choral concert marks the final all choir performance of the year

Kate Erikson

Harmonic melodies rang through out First Free Methodist Church this past Friday

Attending a choir concert does not seem like an ideal friday night for most, but freshman Alex Turner disagrees. Although this was not his first concert at SPU, as he goes to support his friends in the choir, the Spring Choral Concert exceeded his expectations.

“The choir concert really opened my eyes to the different types of music and I really appreciated how the Women’s Choir included more than just a piano into the concert,” said freshman audience member Alex Turner. “They also included an oboe, a violin, and a snare drum which was quite a change a pace.”

The evening of May 10 was the Seattle Pacific University Spring Choral Concert and the final all-choir concert of the year. Audience members shuffled into First Free Methodist Church as the seats began to fill for the 7:30 performance. Not only was this a night of music, but also a celebration of unity and diversity.

“I was kinda hesitant going to the concert, but I wanted to support my friends,” said senior Jake Shelton. “However, I left wishing I went to more of these throughout my time at SPU! The Gospel Choir was so fun to watch and the rest of it was just beautiful.”

The night began with four songs from the chamber choir. Audience members mentioned that they were ethereal an sounded as if they were from a movie. Some members of the audience referred to the harmonies as “crisp and soothing”, stating that the chamber singers were a pleasant start to the night.

First Presbyterian filled with the sounds of the echoing voices from of the dedicated students in choir. Jenna Rasmussen | The Falcon

“I chose Chamber Singers because I really like the small ensemble feel,” said freshman chamber singer Zachariah Rothschiller. “A smaller group means we connect with each other and the music easier than if we were in a bigger group and that’s why I initially joined, however, there’s something about performing powerful songs in unison with fellow students that really boosts morale.”

The majority of the night the room was quiet, a single cough could cause a disturbance, however the audience visibly enjoyed the change of pace brought by the Gospel Choir. Warm smiles filled the room as soulful songs rung throughout First Free Methodist Church. Director Stephen Michael Newby encouraged the audience the clap and sing if they felt inclined, reminding them that the concert was a time to praise the Lord.

“Sold Out,” the gospel choir’s final song, was conducted by SPU senior Lily Hunter. The Gospel Choir had infectious spirit and it was almost impossible for the audience to resist a smile. The final song of worship they sang, along with all the rest, made the windows quake and hearts melt.

The Women’s Choir captured the essence of embracing unity and diversity throughout their performance. Along with singing songs in English, the choir also sang a song in Gaelic and Kenyan.

Almost every song included an instrumental appearance including, drum, violin, oboe, cello and percussion. It was wonderful to hear the two forms of music blend together in harmony.  

“Agnus Dei” from “Missa Brevis in C minor,” featured a solo from freshman Oliva Helbach. In addition to the oboe, Olivia plays several other instruments and sings herself. Being apart of the concert gave her the opportunity to come together with other musicians and display their love of music.

“It was my first time playing oboe for a choral group,” said Oliva Helbach. “I was incredibly excited when Professor Bonnecroy asked me to play! It was a pleasure working with some of my closest friends.”

The Concert Choir consists of 70 voices and is the primary choral ensemble at SPU; this portion of the SPU choir dates back to the very start of SPU. Typically, they perform in different ceremonies and showcases throughout the year. The Concert Choir at the spring concert sang four songs featuring solos from freshmen Anna Bursch and Jon Geiger; for this concert, the choir opened auditions for a male soloist.

“While our repertoire was easier than previous quarters, I liked how this allowed us to spend more time on musicianship and artistry,” said junior Concert Choir member Isaac Wang. “Our set allowed us to focus on listening and responding to each other as a choir and as a community.”

After the Concert Choir performed, the night came to a close when the entire choir program came together for three final songs. Each group blended together and the mass of singers unified to finish off the show and over one hundred voices echoed through First Free Methodist Church.

After the concert, a few students explained that being able to just sit down and listen to the choir sing was a surprisingly restorative experience.

“I was honestly surprised how much I enjoyed the concert,” said freshman audience member Sophie Bilger. “Although most choir concerts are nice, I do find them kind of boring at times. The spring concert not only lulled me into a state of relaxation, but it was also a beautiful night of praise.”