Linfield Choirs perform environmental, PLACE themed concert


Cassandra Martinez, Arts and Entertainment editor

Linfield is known to perform the most amazing and eye-catching choir concerts throughout the years. Linfield’s Choirs decided to perform a PLACE themed concert titled, “To My Old Brown Earth.”

The director of the concert, Professor of Music Anna Song, said, “The title [of the concert] is actually the title of a song by Peter Seeger that will be sung by all three choirs at the very end of the concert.”

Song explains, “As you may know, Seeger was not only a very talented folk singer/song-writer, but also an activist who dedicated his life to environmental activism, nuclear disarmament, civil rights, and world peace.”

“Each piece was chosen for its unique power to express the themes connected to the PLACE theme – hope, despair, environmental stewardship, responsibility, or nature. If I had to pick on, I guess I’d say the Dem dunkeln Schoss by Brahms and the Seeger.”

“There is not much repertoire specifically connected to environmental activism,” Song explained.

Song was happy to report that she had no problems with the choirs. “I wouldn’t say there are challenges working with a large choir in particular, but that it takes an incredible amount of dedicated time and effort to synchronize the voices of all the singers in a choir into an expressive force.” Song said.

She even explained the reward with have a combined choirs, since there are three types of choirs. “When you sing in a choir, you become part of something bigger than yourself … it is an amazing experience, and the connection you have with one another, and with the audience, can be electric, enthralling, and powerful,” Song said.

Song hopes that the audience would capture the meaning of the concert.

“I hope the message of the songs about the earth, the ancient elements, and our responsibility to take care of it for future generations will reach the audience in a new way,” Song said.

She also added this personal this message to her fellow faculty and the students of Linfield College. “I invite all students on campus to consider singing in choir during their time at Linfield … singing is a basic human form of expression, and unfortunately, our society today seems to communicate that only those who are specially “gifted” can and should sing. The truth is, everyone can learn to sing.”

Ice auditorium was packed with friends, families, and local McMinnville residents, eagerly waiting for the concert to start.

The Wildcat Men’s Glee Club preformed first and sang two pieces, “Der Jäger Abschied” (The Hunter’s Farewell) and “Wade in the Water.”

Both pieces captured the audience’s attention due to the harmonization of the male choir. “Wade in the Water” was one of the pieces performed, which gave an upbeat tempo and was an entertaining performance.

The Women’s Vocal Ensemble performed soon after them, with a set list of more clam and smooth pieces. “A ta Nasza Narew” and “To Agni” were both calm and harmonizing pieces, which described water (A ta Nasza Narew) and fire (To Agni).

Then the Concert Choir performed four different pieces.

They were called “Emerald Stream,” “Cloudburst,” Dem dunkeln Schob der Heilgen Erde,” and “Kasar Mie La Gaji” (The Earth is Tired). Two of the most eye-catching song pieces were “Cloudburst” and “Kasar Mie La Gaji,” due to the interesting choices the choir made while preforming these two songs.

“Cloudburst” had musical instruments to accompany the piece because of the significance of imitating rainfall and thunderstorms.

“Kasar Mie La Gaji” had the choir members made gasping or harsh voices to symbolize the Earth becoming weak.

The grand finale was called “To My Old Brown Earth,” hence to the title of the program. The choir students were so thrilled that the audience loved their performance.

Senior and bass vocalist Logan Mays was one of those students. “What I was looking most forward to today was seeing all of the smiling faces of the audience members as we provide them with the music we’ve worked so hard on. It’s always a pleasure performing for a crowd of people willing to listen to us.” said Mays.

“My favorite piece is ‘Cloudburst’ by Eric Whitacre. I feel he captures the feeling of rain quite accurately, and overall I feel our choir performs this piece well! It’s absolutely beautiful,” Mays said.

Sophomore and soprano Miriam Kilian said, “I look forward to simply being able to perform and getting to show everyone how much we accomplished in such a short period of time.”

She mentions her favorite piece, “If I had to choose, it would be “Emerald Stream.” I love its tempo and it’s message, it’s way fun to sing.”said Kilian.

The concert was an interesting, amazing debut of the choir concert series of the Linfield’s year of 2016-2017.