The Troy University Concert Chorale will be presenting a diverse collection of songs, including a tribute to a late Troy pastor, in its fall concert this Sunday.
The concert, titled “Rise and Sing,” will take place at Bush Memorial Baptist Church on Nov. 8. The choir, which grants entry by audition only and includes 36 students, will be performing pieces with a range of styles and time periods.
Diane Orlofsky, director of choirs for the music department, said only about a third of the students are music majors.
“It’s a very select group,” said Orlofsky, who also serves as the conductor of the Concert Chorale.
“I try about a year in advance to start choosing music for the concert,” she said. “I was at a convention in Salt Lake City… and I heard the piece ‘Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God’… it literally took my breath away.”
Orlofsky said she started building the concert around that piece and some others that she had chosen.
“I knew the direction that I wanted to take,” Orlofsky said. “The direction of this concert is to show basically the many aspects of praise… whether it’s meditative, reflective, jubilant… there are many faces of praise.”
Orlofsky said that only two of the pieces in the concert are accompanied. The rest will be a cappella.
“(Unaccompanied music) requires a specific skill set,” Orlofsky said. “Many times it splits into eight (vocal parts), and sometimes it splits into more than eight. You might have only one other person on your part.”
While the choir mainly rehearses in its assigned class time, the different sections also meet outside of class once a week to rehearse.
“I like the fact that the group works together as a family,” she said. “There’s a wonderful spirit in the group.”
Orlofsky also said that she would be using student conductors in the concert. Both of the student conductors, seniors Hannah Moore and Kayla Boston, will each conduct one piece in the concert.
Boston will conduct “Love’s as Warm as Tears,” a contemporary setting of a C.S. Lewis poem, and Moore will conduct “Canticum Novum,” a piece by Swiss composer Ivo Antognini.
“Conducting my peers has been a great opportunity to improve my leadership skills,” said Moore, a senior music education major from Niceville, Florida. “These people are my friends, but when I am in front of them, I have to become their leader. It’s a difficult balance, for sure, but it has been an amazing experience.”
The final song of the concert, a piece titled “Prayer” by American composer René Clausen, with words by Mother Teresa, will be performed in honor of the late Ellis M. Bush, a man who served as interim pastor for a multitude of churches and other ministries in the Troy area, including Bush Memorial Baptist Church, before his death in September 2015.
“This concert is a reward for hard work,” Orlofsky said. “The performance is not the end all, be all… the journey is in the rehearsal.”
The concert will begin at 3 p.m., and admission into the concert is free.