By ERIN HOPKINS, Student Reporter
Northwestern Oklahoma State University Singers and Chorale choirs will be performing “Soundscapes II” at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Alva Independent School armory, 230 Choctaw.
Karsten Longhurst, director of choral studies, says Soundscapes II is the title of the concert because the choir first did a concert at the bus barn last year and had so much fun doing it in a novel location that they thought they would do it again.
“I found the bus barn last year when I was snooping around Alva for a wonderful reverberant old building that could be a unique venue for singing,” Longhurst said. “When I saw that the doors to the bus barn were open, I went inside to take a look to talk to someone and my imagination was lit when I saw an old stage and heard the echo of my voice asking if anyone was there. Thanks to the generosity of the Alva School District Superintendent, School Board, and Transportation Manager, Richard Burton, we were able to pull off our first concert and secure the venue for a second. Last year, it was our most well attended concert and I hope we get to welcome another record turnout. It is sure to be different than last year, but hopefully just as inspiring and memorable.”
Soundscapes is a word that refers to the sounds around us. The director thought it would be fun to feature pieces that show the versatility of the human voice and have unique combinations of sounds.
The NWOSU Chorale and Singers will be performing with a steel band from Kansas. A steel band is a set of metal bowls that have pitched spots on the bowls.
“Most people recognize the sound from The Little Mermaid in ‘Under the Sea,’” Longhurst said. “We will be performing music composed for the reverberant sanctuaries of gigantic churches, feature overtone singing and more.”
Soundscapes is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted as members of the choir are raising funds for their summer 2017 European tour.
Choir member Aaron Pierce, a sophomore vocal music education major, says the choir is excited for their final concert of the year.
The music featured at the concert is the music Chorale will be taking on their Europe tour this summer with the Music Celebrations International “Jubilate Mozart” festival. Along with these songs the Chorale will be performing Mozart’s Coronation Mass, with other choirs from around the United States.
“We fly into Munich, Germany on June, 27 and drive to Salzburg, Austria where we will spend four days,” Pierce said. “We will then drive to Prague, Czech Republic where we will spend another three days. It will be an amazing experience for all going.”
Some places the choir will be visiting on their trip are the Neuschwanstein Castle, which the Disney castle is modeled after, a Holocaust concentration camp in Terezin, and many locations featured in the Sound of Music.
“We have been working very hard this year and would really like seeing our fellow students come and support us,” Pierce said.
Longhurst says the fundraising goal is close to being met, but they will offer another fundraising opportunity to the community during the concert. Tickets will be sold at the event with the chance to win a Northwestern gift basket, Rialto movie package and a mini performance by the Northwestern Singers.
Angelia Case, academic projects assistant and media specialist says as with all the Fine Arts groups, the choirs work so hard developing their music for their performances.
“You can’t go wrong attending these concerts,” Case said. “They provide quality experiences at every performance. Please come and support the Arts! You won’t be disappointed.”