The audience quieted as a line of K-State women clad in long, black dresses paraded onto the stage in All Faiths Chapel Tuesday evening. Each woman held a black binder filled with a semester’s worth of musical pieces. In their last concert of the year, women from both the K-State Concert Choir and Women’s Choir stood ready to perform the culmination of their spring semester’s work.
Members of the Concert Choir were selected through an audition process, while the Women’s Choir is a non-audition choir open to all K-State women. Both choirs are open to all majors, and students from a variety of studies are members.
At the spring concert, the choirs, directed by Joshua Oppenheim and Julie Yu, performed pieces with themes of teachings in the world through earth, wind and water. The pieces were not easy, Yu said.
“These pieces are chosen to really challenge the choirs,” she said.
Overall, Yu said she was impressed with the performances, but that there is always room for growth.
“I am really looking forward to next semester, and I really enjoyed all the performers this semester,” Yu said. “The one thing that needs to be worked on is more the logistics of the performance, more of the technical behind the scenes stuff.”
Despite the need for future work, there will be little push for improvement at this point in the semester, Yu said.
“When preparing for upcoming semesters and reflecting on the last, there is really nothing that the students need to work on; it is more of what can we, as directors, can do better to serve our students,” Yu said.
After the Women’s Choir finished its performance, the Concert Choir sang a set of songs about freedom. One of the crowd favorites was “I am Flying” by Nan-Chang Chien, which Yu directed.
The Concert Choir provided a unique concert experience by bringing in props such as streamers, confetti and beach balls, which were passed throughout the crowd.
The concert is just the final moment after a semester of fun, said Talia Falcon, freshman in music education.
“I love the directors. They are so great; they really teach to make us connect with the music,” Falcon said. “They make it more than just a sound and song lyrics; they show us the meaning. The directors and the songs and the choirs, they just all have a way of keeping the music alive.”
Ashley Dollard, sophomore in life science, enjoys singing in the choir and sees it as a break from her regular classes.
“It is a hobby for me, because it really has nothing to do with my major. I don’t have to take it,” Dollard said. “But the program is really an escape for me. It’s a break from my academics. Everyone has something they do that to just get away from everything and have a break from the world. That’s what choir is for me.”
Dollard does not plan on retiring from the K-State choir program in the near future, and is excited for next year.
“It is about more than music for us. We are taught life lessons. We are shown real music and are able to connect with it,” Dollard said.