Choir proves its vocal abilities

Grade: A

Those who attended Saturday night's concert in the Alumni Center put on by the Ball State Chamber Choir will no doubt agree this group has vocal talent.

Choir members kicked off their second night of this weekend's fund-raiser with "My Soul's been Anchored in the Lord," arranged by Moses Hogan. This piece was interesting because of its many rounds of sharp contrasts from crescendo to decrescendo.

After singing a moving version of the majestic "America the Beautiful," solo acts took the stage singing a diverse range of musical excerpts and sometimes satirical love songs.

One outrageously funny song was "Always a Bridesmaid" performed by Cassie Liveris. She wore a hideous red prop dress, which was clearly too large, to add to song's theme that bridesmaids wear dresses unflattering to their bodies.

Many of the solos were taken from popular musical productions such as Andy Planck's emotional depiction of "Santa Fe" from "Newsies."

Besides solo acts, the show included instrumental solos and duets. Kristin Fischmer and Michael Pettry performed one such duet on piano to the tune "Tonight" from the musical "West Side Story." This arrangement had excellent tempo variations and running 16th note scales that brought goose bumps.

Other instrumental performances included a trombone solo by Chris Stahlman to the sounds of Pachelbel's "Canon in D." This was a special delight, mainly because a piece of music of this complexity and woven rhythmic pattern is difficult to play on a trombone.

There were also impressive vocal soloists, such as Kira Christiansen's performance of "Poor Wandering One" from the opera "Pirates of Penzance." This piece is easily recognizable because of its use in movies such as "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle." Christiansen delivered this high soprano solo with perfection.

Other large ensembles performed as well, with very emotional and passionate vocal interpretations of such works as "All I Ask of You" from "Phantom of the Opera" and "The God's Love Nubia" from "Aida."

Announcers Keli Simmons and Brian Paulsen brought laughs to this entertaining show also with their constant banter and jokes onstage; and they had a great time with past Chamber Choir members during the intermission. Simmons and Paulsen played a trivia game asking questions about what Doug Amman's gestures and sayings actually meant. Audience members and even Amman laughed at the accuracy of such questions and the responses the contestants had.

Overall, the show gave the perfect mixture of love and laughter.


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