By Meg Lunsford
Brock Auditorium filled with music Sunday during Eastern’s Spring Choral Concert. Students, parents, faculty, alumni and community members came out to support the Department of Music in its last choral concert of the semester. Sue Ellen Ballard, the director of choral activities, conducted.”We began the concert with a double choir,” she said. “I thought it worked well in the space.”
The concert started with the Concert Choir dressed in black singing Jauchzet dem Herren by Heinrich Schutz. During this song violins, a viola, a cello and a keyboard accompanied the singers.
The concert continued with performances by the University Singers and the 2008 EKU All-Collegiate Ensemble. The audience heard pieces by Eric Whitacre, Gyorgy Orban, Guiseppe Verdi and Stephen Hatfield. Graduate assistant Katy Rose and choral music education majors Abby Day and Kayla Spurlock conducted some of the musical selections.
John Lovelace, Brittany Horn and Heather Acuna gave solo performances during the Spring Choral Concert.
“I thought all the soloists did great.” Ballard said. “I was very proud of them.”
Brindisi from La traviata and Cindy by Mack Wilburg gave the audience a surprise. During these songs members from the choir came off the stage and danced before the audience. The booming applause after these songs suggested the audience enjoyed the performances.
In addition, students from the Department of Music were presented with scholarships during the concert. Malachi Francis received the Bruce Bennett Keyboard Scholarship. The Robert E. Witt Choral Scholarship was presented to Kayla Spurlock.
The concert ended with EKU alumni joining the singers on stage to sing the Alma Mater by Thomas Couvillon. There were about 10 alumni present at the Spring Choral Concert including Dr. David Wehr. Dr. Wehr is the former EKU Choral Director and directed the last song of the concert, The Lord Bless You and Keep You by Peter Lutkin.
Plans have already been started for next year’s Spring Choral Concert. Because the concert occurs during EKU’s Alunmi Weekend, Ballard said she hopes more alumni will attend the 2009 concert.
“Next year we have all alumni choral directors and members of the music department booked to attend and perform at the concert,” she said. “That’s pretty exciting.”
Eastern’s Music Department is making history this year for starting the first ever chapter of the American Choral Association. Ballard recognized the Choral Music Department’s accomplishments during the school year.
“We had 11 students attend the Southern Division of the American Choral Director’s Association,” she said. “This spring we also had The National ACDA President, Dr. Hillary Apselstadt, visit EKU.”
Ballard said she has high hopes for Eastern’s Choral Music Department in the upcoming year.
“We would like to tour around Kentucky in the upcoming year,” she added. “From there maybe Kentucky and surrounding states the year after.” The final goal is an overseas tour in about five years. “That will take a lot of planning,” Ballard said, “but we’ll see.