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Group offers a ‘breath of peace’ through fall chorale performance

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Andrea Hammack

Staff Writer

Troy University’s Concert Chorale is presenting its fall performance, “Breathing Peace,” on Nov. 4.

The chorale is under the direction of Dianne Orlofsky, a professor of music and director of many of the choirs on campus.

The group consists of 36 auditioned students and five guest faculty members featured as instrumental accompaniment.

Amanda Thrasher, a junior music major from Milton, Florida, is the soprano section leader for the ensemble. She said she first got involved when she tried out during IMPACT her freshman year.

“The most rewarding part of performing with the group is having an emotional impact on the audience during the concerts,” Thrasher said.

A central theme that holds a great presence within the pieces chosen for the performance is the idea that peace runs into you, through you and then out of you.

The title grew from the fact that Orlofsky chooses her music in an organic way, and it seemed to fall together for her once she had lived with the music for a while.

“I listen to it, I read the texts and I really like deep texts,” Orlofsky said. “We have many poets featured, and there are incredibly deep poetry texts set to music in an incredible way by these composers.”

The concert begins with a three-movement work titled “For a Breath of Ecstasy” by Michael John Trotta, which features John Jinright, an associate professor of music, on piano and Jillian Camwell, an adjunct instructor of music, on oboe.

Following immediately is “Amara (Breath of Grace)” by John Rommereim, a wordless piece.

“We’ve never done this before,” Orlofsky said. “The singers have this beautiful passage, and Dr. Dave Camwell, associate professor of music, plays a saxophone solo all the way through.

“It kind of works with us, and it is improvisatory so he’s doing it in the moment. It’s really cool.”

The next piece, “Three Themes of Life and Love” by Daniel Elder, is another three-movement work.

Next in the show is “Requiescat” by Eric William Barnum and “Song of Joys” by David Dickau. The performance will finish with a work titled “Peace” by Paul Mealor.

“Song of Joys” is Thrasher’s favorite piece to perform.

“It’s filled with several shifts in theme, leading to a joyful and high-energy ending,” Thrasher said.

Orlofsky said one of her favorite things about this particular show is all of the collaboration involved.

“I love collaboration; I do a lot of it, and I believe that it makes us better people,” Orlofsky said. “I like my students to watch me work with my peers and just let them see how much better we are as a whole rather than just the sum of the parts.”

“I certainly enjoy working with the students and Dr. Orlofsky,” Jinright said. “They’ve got a great work ethic and a positive attitude that keeps us all moving towards the goal.”

The main goal with performances like this is to say something that hasn’t been said before.

Orlofsky hopes the audience takes the journey with the students and takes the time to really reflect on the depth of the text.

“If you actively listen to this group sing, you’ll experience firsthand the power that music has to communicate on many levels,” Jinright said.

The performance will be held on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Troy. Admission is free, and the performance is open to everyone.