Article Written by Zac Chapman. Photo by Zac Chapman
St. Cloud State’s Choral Program presented their 16th Annual Choral Connections concert on Monday, Feb. 27.
“It probably all started with Dr. Matt Ferrell,” said Dr. Lara M. Moline, St. Cloud State University Choral Director. “I can’t speak for him, but my assumption is there was an idea to create a choral community connection with who we are here at the university, but also with local high schools.”
Local ensembles from Apollo, Tech and Cathedral performed alongside the St. Cloud State Concert Choir and Chamber Singer in Ritsche Auditorium.
“There is a recruitment aspect but there is also an opportunity to really work together,” said Dr. Moline. “For the high school choirs to take part in an opportunity to perform for each other. It’s kind of like a Gala or a celebration of choral music in the art form.”
The concert began at 7 p.m. with Apollo being the first group to step on to the stage. Kendra Penke conducted the choir as they performed “Tshotsoloza,” “Shenandoah” and “Joy.”
Tech High School’s Concert Choir sang next with Victoria Hedtke conducting. They started off their set with “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent and followed with “Winter Lullaby” and “Connected.”
Cathedral’s Concert Choir wrapped up the performance from high school ensembles with four songs.
Accompanied by pianist Marcus Langley, Jonathan Rydberg conducted the choir as they opened with “Bright Morning Stars” followed by “Come By Here and “Omnia Sol.” They finished their performance with “Let Everything That Hath Breath.”
It then came time for St. Cloud State’s ensembles to take the stage.
St. Cloud State’s Concert Choir opened with “Gate Gate” as Dr. Moline directed and Tony Kapinos accompanied on the piano. Their next song, “Be Thou My Vision,” featured vocal soloist Jenna Wendlandt.
“It can be so nerve racking to sing that type of song specifically in front of an audience,” said Wendlandt. “I’m really happy with how it went, and my family was really proud of me. I loved being able to share that with them.”
The Concert Choir concluded their set with “Let Peace and Love Shine Through.”
The St. Cloud State Chamber Singers performed last.
Dr. Moline again directed with accompaniment from students Brandon Kain on bass, Cole Grundhoefer on guitar and Joseph Sicora on drums.
The St. Cloud State Chamber Choir started off singing the song “Precedence.” The song featured another solo from Wendlandt and near the end of the song, the audience applauded too early.
Wendlandt smiled and chuckled after recalling the event.
“It was an aleatoric ending, which is basically a random ending,” said Wendlant. “There is no specific ending to the song. Dr. Moline just said this is like kind of the scale that you can sing any notes within. What notes were being sung and how long it lasted were completely random. So, when it ended, we’re all just kind of looking at each other like, okay, like what now? Dr. Moline was waiting on us to kind of, when–it fizzles out–play the last bit of piano when we hit the last chord. So, when everybody started clapping too early, it was like, stop, we still have one chord to go.”
The Chamber Singers then performed “They Say It’s Wonderful” with a solo from Tian Vongphakdy and finished the concert with “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” with a final solo from Tori Roe.
The last chance of the school year to see St. Cloud State’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers is Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Ritsche Auditorium for their Spring Concert.