Youth movement energizes Concert Choir

Nov 4, 2013

When the Concert Choir takes the stage to open its performance season this Sunday, they’ll need more risers. That’s because the group has grown significantly this year – from 36 singers to 51 this year.

Michelle Tamburo, Heidelberg concert choir member

Senior Michelle Tamburo, who’s serving as choir president this year, attributes the growth to the infusion of new members and a great dynamic among a group who’s committed to making excellent music together.

“This is the best choir in my four years here,” Michelle says. “The numbers have nothing to do with how well we sing. There are just a lot of musically inclined students who know how to take good directions.”

Giving those directions is Dr. Greg Ramsdell, who is in his third year as the choir’s director. He’s “very pleasantly surprised” with the composition of this year’s ensemble. The choir lost just seven members to graduation. When auditions rolled around for this year, students showed up who had not enrolled in the choir class or indicated an interest in the choir.

2013 Concert choir rehearses

“Last year’s members helped recruit new members,” he said. “We have a great group of voice education majors and also instrumental education majors who chose to stay in the choir after fulfilling their one-year requirement.” Additionally, the choir welcomes non-music majors, including 12 in this year’s group.

The singers have developed a strong rapport with the director and the choir’s tradition at Heidelberg. “This choir knows how to work hard, work together and not just sing. They understand what the music means,” Greg says.

Lynn Leatherman, second-year baritone in Heidelberg concert choir

Second-year baritone Lynn Leatherman said the new talent has added a certain liveliness that energizes rehearsals. “They have added a new dynamic into the choir,” he says.

Michelle adds: “I still feel we have a good level of maturity. Everyone wants to go to choir. Everyone wants to sing. Everyone wants to make music together.”

This week, the choir is polishing its program, “British Invasion,” which it will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 10, at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Findlay. The repertoire reflects America’s fascination with the many aspects of British culture. All of the music has some connection to our friends across the pond.

Several selections feature solos or accompaniment by students from the choir. Featured soloists include Collin Stump and Kristina Kamm, while organ accompaniment will be provided by sophomore Stephen Smith and senior Melissa Flowers.

As they prepare for their opening concert, the choir will work with a guest clinician who will give them some performance techniques this week.

“I’m excited to see how the crowd reacts to what we perform for them,” Lynn says.

The Concert Choir performance is just one of a number of concerts and performances in a busy month of November for the School of Music:

  • Jazz Ensemble – 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, Rickly Chapel
  • University-Community Chorus – 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, Brenneman Music Hall
  • Concert Choir – 3:00 p.m. Sunday, November 10, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Bright Rd. Findlay
  • Piano Celebration – 8:15 pm, Tuesday, November 12, Brenneman Music Hall
  • Guest Artist Recital, Gail Levinsky (saxophone) an Chi-Chen Wu (piano) -- 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, Brenneman
  • Symphonic Band – 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, Brenneman
  • Faculty & Guest Artist Recital – Joan McConnell (organ) and Gail Levinsky (saxophone) – 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, Trinity UCC
  • Woodwind Quintet – 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, The University Commons
  • Small Ensembles Concert – 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, Brenneman
  • Student Composition Recital – 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, Brenneman
  • Montague Distinguished Artist, Zsolt Bogner (piano), 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, Brenneman
  • TubaChristmas – 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, Brenneman