BY JOHN CARTER JR
Photo from FHSU Choir Website
This past weekend was the Fort Hays State University Department of Music & Theater presented the Choirs and Wind Ensemble “As If to Meet the Moon” concert. The concert choirs were conducted by Dr. Terry Crull and the Wind Ensemble was conducted by Dr. Jeff Jordan. The event was filled to the brim with quality musical performances. While all varying in the range of topics presented, the concert presented a cohesive theme related to the moon and space travel. While it was hard to stretch some of the themes presented in these songs, both conductors made sure to make us aware of their intentions with the song selection. “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat” from Guys and Dolls is a clear example of this. While the concert did have many beautiful musical performances let’s take a look at a few notable or highlight pieces that really stood above the rest.
Starting things off, one of the major highlights of the concert was Adam Flax’s performance of “Time” by Kirke Mechem. When listening to this performance I nearly teared up as it is truly beautiful in its essence. Flax’s deep voice conveys the emotions of a person developing through their life. These emotions are even paralleled in the pacing of the song that changes over the performance. Whether that be the slow opening, which could in specific represent the dawn of life, the quicker pace of the climax, which could represent what it is like to bloom in life, and the loud finish which was long and grand. Flax is emotionally convincing in his singing and I can’t wait to hear his next performance on this trait alone.
Previously mentioned at the concert the song “Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat” from Guys and Dolls what’s performed at the concert led by Luis Valencia. This energetic performance was not only exciting but was a nice addition to the overall concert. It could be said that a good chunk of the song selection to be summed up as melancholic or slower tunes it was fun to see the addition of an upbeat and quickly paced song. While this piece is usually performed by stage actors the members of the choir seem to be equally skilled actors as they were singers as each member brought an individualistic charm to the music they were performing. Valencia, in particular, had an energy and charm all of his own, not to mention the genuine talent his voice displayed on stage.
The Wind Ensemble had a wonderful selection of songs to represent and relates to the overarching theme of the concert performance but in particular play performance of “Fanfare for a Golden Sky” by Scott Boerma stood out prominently in my memory. The song is intense end the suspense built up by the trombones towards the beginning of the song may be very anticipatory to the rest of the piece and the remaining selection. The piece was loud and triumphant and will always remind me of the incredible potential for these instruments to work in such a beautiful unison. Conductor Dr. Jeff Jordan capitalizes on this unison and demonstrates the strength of this ensemble through this particular performance.
In conclusion, the overall concert was a major success in terms of the entertainment and performance it gave to its audience. The concert choirs in Wind Ensemble represent a specific selection of talent found here at Fort Hays State University while some performances were a definite stretch when it came to meeting the overall theme of the concert, the performances in no way suffered from this. It was a fantastic showing and I am excited to see what happens next and future shows put on by the Department of Music & Theater at Fort Hays State University.