North Central choirs perform at annual Christmas concert

Songs of the Season featured

North Central College of Fine Arts’ three ensembles preformed at the annual Songs of the Season performance Dec. 1–3, 2017. Photo by Ericka Sura.

Concert Chorale performs; prepares for trip to Spain

North Central performed its annual choir concert, Songs of the Season, on Dec. 1 and 3 this year. The concert featured both traditional and contemporary styles of music under the direction of Larry Bach, dean of the college of fine arts at North Central.

“We have some very big festival music with brass, organ, piano and percussion… [with] some traditional Christmas carols and Christmas songs and a song in Spanish,” Bach said.

The Concert Chorale, Women’s Chorus and Festival Chorus performed during Songs of the Season. The diverse selection of songs and interlude performances kept the audience engaged throughout the concert. Audience members were encouraged to join the choir in singing two classic Christmas carols during the concert as well. North Central Jazz Workshop ensembles performed in the atrium prior to the concerts and for one of the concert interludes. Joshua Tompkins, associate professor in the College of Fine Arts, performed an original arrangement of “O Holy Night” during the second concert interlude. Guest musicians provided orchestra accompaniment for various songs.

Junior Nathan Droege, a member of the Concert Chorale, explained he was looking forward to performing a song titled Gloria.

“It’s a really interesting piece because it has a lot of different time signatures – it’s been a challenge to learn – but once you learn it, it’s been really fun to start seeing it take shape and to sound ‘musically’ nice,” Droege said.

All proceeds from the concert cover production expenses and any additional funds beyond the costs will contribute North Central’s Fine Arts Endowment. Bach hopes to raise one million dollars for the Endowment during his time at North Central. He would like to see this goal reached within ten years of its launch or by the time he retires. The endowment allows contributors to fund specific projects or ideas. The endowment allows contributors to fund specific projects or ideas. Bach has funding goals for four areas: the With One Voice Energizing Neighborhoods program (WOVEN), technology upgrades and expenses, the desire to bring guest artists and teachers to North Central and student mission trips, explained Bach.

Bach noted that last year few of the Lindquist Sanctuary’s 900 seats remained empty during the Friday night performance and the Sunday afternoon performance typically brings around 400 attendees.

The Concert Chorale is set to travel to Spain during winter break in 2018 from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5. This trip fulfils part of North Central’s mission oriented purpose. The Chorale will visit, and perform at, locations such as Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. The churches the chorale will serve at value community outreach. The churches hope a visiting American group will attract an audience who may otherwise not be interested in attending regular church activities, Bach explained.

“We’re a mission-driven school, we’re a mission-driven church, and I think people should use whatever talents they have in a ‘mission’ sort of a way,” Bach said.