Choral Music Review Print



Gleeful Singing at UNC


Event  Information

Chapel Hill -- ( Sun., Apr. 22, 2012 )

UNC Chapel Hill Department of Music: UNC Glee Clubs
Free. -- Hill Hall Auditorium , 919-962-1039 -- 3:00 PM

April 22, 2012 - Chapel Hill, NC:


The UNC Women's and Men’s Glee Clubs held their spring concert on Sunday afternoon in Hill Hall. This hall's high ceilings and cream-colored walls provided shelter and warmth from the unseasonably cold and rainy day.

Both ensembles dabble in many different genres such as classical works, folk songs, traditional Carolina songs, and spirituals. The works on the program were greatly diverse, giving each audience member something to anticipate and savor.

The Women’s Glee Club opened the concert with Guillaume Dufay’s trumpet Gloria, a beautiful piece that filled the auditorium with full voices and the fluid tone of the two trumpet soloists, John Parker and Ryan Petersburg. "Lux Aeterna" (Eternal Light), by Michelle Rouche, was beautifully done. The vocalists, featuring Kamaira Philips as soloist, paid special attention to the tight harmonies and blending with one another. The program changed mood with a fun, moving piece, Verdi’s "Witches’ Chorus," from Macbeth. This featured the women finding their inner witch, complete with hats and cackling; the piece left the audience laughing. Written for the inauguration of a new dean at Peace College, Stephen Hatfield’s "Living in a Holy City," incorporates an uplifting South African folksong; this finished out the women’s portion of the program. Sue T. Klausmeyer conducted the ladies in a wonderful program.

Daniel M. Huff conducted the Men’s Glee Club in the equally delightful second half. Josquin des Prez’s "De Profundis" is a subdued piece that prays for forgiveness from the Lord. A more recent version of this piece was also on the program: living composer Arvo Pärt's setting calls for percussion (James Sparling) and organ (Henry Stewart Engart III). This comparison allowed the audience to see how compositional styles differed from Josquin’s time (around 1450-1521) to Pärt's (b.1935). The program featured many soloists including Adam Mitchell, Christopher Nickell, and Tuner Davis in "Cotton Song," Adam Mitchell in "Go Down Moses," Nathaniel Longer and Brainard Burrus in "Hold on," Travis Kephart, Corvis Richardson, Justin Ellis, and Turner Davis in "Swing Down Chariot," and Zachary Stamper, Michael Barlock, Benjamin Boecker, and Jeffrey DeLuca on guitar in "Muddy Water" and "Free at Last" from Big River.

Although the concert etiquette of the audience was at times lacking, the two glee clubs were able to show their grace and talent in each piece. Their brilliant voices made a rainy day more enjoyable.