BY AUSTIN RUFF
The Spring Choral Concert took place on March 8 at the Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center and showcased the talent of FHSU and the Hays community. The Fort Hays Singers, FHSU Concert Choir, and the Smoky Hill Chorale performed on the auditorium stage.
The Fort Hays Singers are 16-20 specially selected singers who specialize in choral chamber music. The FHSU Concert Choir is composed of mixed singers from all across campus who audition at the beginning of the year. The Smoky Hill Chorale is composed of “post-high school voices,” as it was put by Director of Choirs, Terry Crull. Members are from Ellis, Trego, Rooks, Russell, and Rush counties, no auditions necessary.
Prior to the start of the concert, souvenirs and pictures from the group’s trip to Hawai’i were on display. Crull recounted the rainy days spent on the islands, as well as the powerful visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial on the 80th Anniversary of the attack. He encouraged audience members to come up after the concert to get a better look at the objects they brought back.
“It was an honor to be there,” Crull said.
To start the concert off, the Smoky Hill Chorale sang America the Beautiful. In light of the recent events in Ukraine, the emotion evoked by the song was a powerful reminder of the freedoms and beauty we enjoy here. The Smoky Hill Choral also sang Camptown Races, which is a popular American folk song familiar to almost all Americans. Its bright and exciting melody brought a joyful change to the concert. This song featured two impressive female soloists, Joan Crull and Heather Keller.
Following their performance were the Concert Choir and Fort Hays Singers. One of the most recognizable pieces from the Fort Hays Singers was Way Up on Old Smoky, which many of us learned in elementary school. A more somber piece, The Music of Stillness, demonstrated a more serious side of the vocalists.
“We have to stick those sad ones in between the happy ones to even it out,” Crull joked during the concert.
Crull will also be directing the Small Ensembles Concert on April 4th at 7:30 p.m. at the Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center. Another exciting opportunity to hear the choir will be on May 1st accompanied by the talented Hays Symphony. Crull is excited for the rest of the year and encourages everyone to come out and support the choirs.
The FHSU Bands concert that was rescheduled from Thursday, March 10 will take place at 7:30 tonight in Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center. The concert can be viewed live on the Tiger Media Network YouTube page.