Chorale hopes to ‘transform’ listeners with Advent concert

Emily Foster

Staff Writer

Troy University’s Concert Chorale will be having its “Perspectives: Heaven to Earth” concert on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2:30 p.m.

“All the texts are somehow related to either pre-Advent or the coming of the birth of Christ to earth,” said Diane Orlofsky, professor of music and director of choirs.

However, Orlofsky said this is not a Christmas concert; it is more of a fall or Advent concert.

The concert will feature several versions of classical pieces. According to Orlofsky, the purpose of the concert is to “showcase how different composers approach the same text in different ways.”

“I like the idea of being able to tell the same story from different musical perspectives,” Orlofsky said.

“I like that it explores old and new,” said D’Nasa Mitchell, a junior psychology major from Dothan and alto section leader. “It’s a different kind of concert.

“I’ve never done a concert in which it had the two perspectives like that, but I think it’s going to be really interesting, and I like Dr. O’s vision in the way that the concert is going to go.”

The concert will be held at Bush Memorial Baptist Church, which is an acoustically accommodating space for the Concert Chorale, the accompanying high school choir and the audience.

Dan Johnson, a senior music education major from Atmore and base section leader, said the concert will “definitely impact if someone’s more spiritually oriented.”

“Even for those that aren’t spiritually inclined, there’s something about being in a room and having this wash of sound and harmonies and music going around you that invokes emotion, invokes ideas,” Johnson said

The Oxford High School Concert Choir will be joining Troy’s Concert Chorale in the finale version of “Gloria” by André Thomas. Several guest faculty will be participating, including a guest conductor from Montgomery for two of the pieces.

“One of my favorite pieces is the finale piece ‘Gloria’ because it’s a lot more up-tempo,” Johnson said. “And having the chance to work with the high school kids is always really fun.”

Some other songs to be heard during the concert are “O Virga Mediatrix” by David Barsden and Hildegard von Bingen, a version of “Ave Maris Stella” by Edvard Grieg, a version of “O Nata Lux” by Thomas Tallis,  and “Glory to God in the Highest” by Randall Thompson.

The concert offers free admission and is expected to last about an hour.

The Concert Chorale has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in May and will be taking donations at the concert to raise the money for the trip. The group will also be having benefit concerts in February and March, as well as other possible fundraising events around Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

“They’ve worked very hard on this repertoire,” Orlofsky said. “Some of the literature is quite difficult, and I think they’ve done a remarkable job of pulling it together.

“We’ve been working on it since late August, and that’s a lot of music to get to this level of proficiency in a short amount of time. I’m very proud of them.”

Orlofsky said that one of the purposes of the concert is to give a moment of peace from the chaos of the world and day-to-day life. The concert is an opportunity to worship, meditate and be a part of something exalting.

“If people don’t feel better leaving than they did coming in, then we’ve not done our job,” Orlofsky said — “because music has the ability to transform, and what we want them to do is just come and spend an hour with us and be transformed.”

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