USAO Concert Choir to Hold Fall Performance Nov. 27

USAO Concert Choir 2023
Concert to highlight the meaningful place “singing” holds in our lives

The University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma’s Concert Choir will present their annual fall performance Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alumni Chapel on campus. The performance is free and open to the public.

The performance will include music that highlights the meaningful place “singing” holds in our lives as well as a few holiday features such as “In The Bleak Midwinter,” which is a popular song around Christmastime. The performance includes music by composers from across the historical eras, from medieval to modern times.

The USAO Theatre Department will be working in collaboration with the Concert Choir on a featured multi-movement piece by Sarah Quartel, a contemporary composer and educator, that utilizes narration to tell the story of a few angels and how they bring compassion and faith into the darkness. Other composers featured include Christopher Tin, Grammy-award winning video game composer, Edward Elgar, Romantic-era English composer, and Marques Garret, contemporary composer and educator.

Lydia Wills, senior music major, will perform an aria from J.S. Bach’s cantata (BWV 185), Barmherziges Herze der ewigen Liebe (Most merciful Lord that eternally loves us). Wills recently placed in her division at the National Association for Teachers of Singing competition and aspires to do graduate studies in voice. This Bach cantata will be performed in its entirety with chamber orchestra members that include USAO faculty and community members. Other soloists include David Orgas, sophomore music major; Tyler Sweeden, sophomore music major; and Penny Stewart, freshman art major.

“The students have brought such joy every Monday, Wednesday and Friday when I walk into the rehearsal room. I always leave with a smile on my face and pinch myself to see if I’m just dreaming,” said Joshua Smith, visiting assistant professor of music and Concert Choir conductor. “The ensemble is made up of only a small percentage of music majors. The rest of the students are non-majors and it always impresses me that they are so committed and skilled at making music. It is such an honor to work with them.”

Smith earned his bachelor’s in piano performance in 2011 from USAO.

“I’m happy to be back at USAO. Dr. Jan Hanson was the teacher who inspired me to become a conductor and a teacher. It is such an incredible blessing to be following her incomparable legacy,” he said.