University Choir sings of hope, peace and love


Adrianna Rochester General Assignment Reporter

The University Choir showcased why they have been labeled a “group of mixed voices,” during their recent fall choir concert. A mixture of Southern’s community, outside guests and family flooded Engleman Hall as they all filed into room C112 to wait for the concert to begin.

The program for the evening promoted a three-part concert, each with songs tailored to a specific topic. For example, the first portion of the concert was focused around songs about hope titled United in Hope, the second portion was about children titled Peace for the Children, and the third was about love, titled Let There be Love.

Prior to the start of the concert, Jeanette Compton was greeted by her daughter, Sarah Compton—choir member—to give her mother her belongings before she took the stage. The two embraced each other as Compton wished her daughter good luck before she walked off with the look of pre-performance jitters on her face.

“She’s been singing since she was about 10 or 12, but I never get used to seeing her perform,” Compton said. “I’m always excited to see her sing.”

Compton said her daughter came to Southern to obtain her master’s degree and joined the choir while she was a graduate student. However, since graduating she remained with the University Choir as a soprano singer and was even able to travel with the choir to Greece.

The choir’s entrance quickly caught the audience’s attention as they shuffled in quietly, wearing all black, and took their positions. The audience too quickly followed and Compton smiled proudly as she watched her daughter take her place with the entire choir.

A small men’s ensemble began the concert with a 17 century English folk song, called “Scarborough Fair.” Immediately the audience could hear the mixing of voice as the men sang.

This mixing of voices only continued as the men rejoined the choir to perform “Across the Bridge of Hope,” by Jan Sandstrom.

“Scatter the seed of peace over our land, so we can travel hand in hand,” the choir sang with control as the choir’s members crescendo and decrescendo their voices during the performance.

Throughout the concert there were various moments where a different section—the altos or sopranos—either took the lead or harmonized together. Regardless of the musicality, Hamden residents Shelby and Carl Luis said they appreciate the work the choir is doing and enjoyed the performance they put together.

“You could hear and feel the words they were singing,” she said. “They did an amazing job.”

Photo Credit:  Adrianna Rochester – General Assignment Reporter

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