Sacred Scripture in Song

Posted on October 21, 2013

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BY CHRISTOPHER HEIM

 

The sweet sound of music echoed through the larger-than-life halls of Old St. Joseph Church on the night of Tuesday, October 8. There were quite a number of people in attendance, nearly filling the vast venue. All of them were waiting in silent patience and utter anticipation to carefully listen to the holy music treatments by St. Norbert’s finest hard-working music students and faculty. The night’s arrangements included performances from the St. Norbert College Abbey Singers, Brass Ensemble, Flute Choir, and plenty of solo or duet vocal performances. Connecting all of these songs were narrations providing wisdom relating to Christianity and God’s devotion to man.

Opening the concert off with a glorious bang was “Hear, O Israel” arranged by Craig Courtney, performed by Abbey Singers, Organ (Fr. Michael Frisch and Devin Atteln), and Brass Ensemble. The combination of the skillfully majestic choir and soothing trombones created a blissful, riveting mood. However, what took it to another level was the audience congregation of the final verses “The God of Abraham Praise.” Needless to say, the night was off to a powerful start.

Another highlight of the evening was the Eucharistic hymn “Ave verum corpus” (Latin for “Hail, true body”) arranged by Camille Saint-Saens. This song was in the “Life in Community” portion of the concert, teaching about Christ’s open invitation of love towards man. Containing the vocal talents of Nicole Schommer ’14 and Matthew Christoff ‘14, the duet performed with perfect harmony and stellar operatic prowess. The duo did a great job in creating a haunting atmosphere out of the song’s deliberately paced structure.

One of the last pieces of music for the night was “Song of the Ocean” arranged by Ann Cameron Pearce and performed by the vast SNC Flute Choir. This song was in the “Creation” section of the concert, highlighting compositions with the theme of the book of Genesis in mind. Creating a complex aroma of soothing passionate harmonies, the hypnotically transcendent chorus of flutes lends itself well to the obvious theme of water. It was a truly beautiful and majestic cap after a night of music and worship.

Closing off with the congregation of the hymn “Lift High the Cross,” the religion-themed concert was a big success and the audience walked out immensely satisfied.

 

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