The Baylor Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir shone on stage Tuesday night as they performed their annual fall concert. The two choirs performed a mixture of music, from traditional concertos to traditional Swahili hymns to powerful songs of praise.
The music for the women’s part of the concert was chosen to inspire and encourage the members of the women’s choir.
“Each day, they continue to shape the person they will be beyond their years at Baylor,” women’s choir conductor Amy Allibon said in the program. “We hope you, our audience, love the collection of emotions. Tonight, we will worship, with unabashed love, and celebrate a rebirth after a difficult season of life.”
The women started out the night with a rendition of Michael Braz’s “Jubilate Deo,” which was created from Psalms 98, 100 and 150. They then followed with “Widmung,” by Robert Schumann (as arranged by James Mulholland) and a traditional folk hymn, titled “Rise My Soul.” Austin sophomore Fernanda Deleze said “Rise My Soul” was her favorite piece to perform.
“It’s so beautiful and dynamic, I even got chills when we sang it on stage,” Deleze said. She explained that their choir practices all semester for their concerts, and that they began rehearsing for this concert directly after Family Weekend.
“We started learning all the other pieces, and every rehearsal we reviewed pronunciation, dynamics and breaths,” Deleze said.
After about a month, Deleze said she and her fellow performers felt they had the music down.
“Looking for other versions of the songs in YouTube helped to get familiar with the songs, especially the ones in another language,” she said. This concert, there were only two pieces in the women’s set that were written in other languages, with the last two — “Bloom” by Peter Silvey and “My God is So High” sung in English.
The men’s choir, on the other hand, took lyricism in other languages head on. They sang a traditional Swahili song, called “Baraka zu Mungu,” as well as a Felix Mendelssohn song, “Adspice domine, Op. 121.” They accomplished such tasks under the direction of conductor Dr. Randall Bradley, but also were led by a fellow student. Temple senior Andrew Eshbaugh is this year’s president of the men’s choir, and said his job is “to recognize all the tasks at hand and to make sure they are completed well by the officer team and the choir.”
Eshbaugh served as external vice president of the choir last year, and said he was honored to have been selected to lead the choir this year.
“We have fantastic guys both on the officer team and in the choir as a whole, which is one of the main reasons why I love serving in this role so much,” Eshbaugh said.
The men’s choir showed their enthusiasm for their musical choices through dancing, clapping and even rapping. Their last song of the night, “Glory,” was performed originally by John Legend and the rapper Commons in the film “Selma.” This gospel tune concluded the show, and according to the program was “an attempt at artistic solidarity.” While this was certainly powerful, Eshbaugh’s choice of favorite songs was “Even When He is Silent,” written by Kim Andre Arnsen.
“There is so much power in this song,” Eshbaugh said. “This song reminds me that even in the darkest of times, we still have hope. We have a confident expectation that God will always be there and will always love his people.”
As Baylor gears up for the holiday season, the choir does too. Deleze said their next big concert will be the “A Baylor Christmas” concert, which takes place Nov. 29 and Nov. 30 in Jones Concert Hall. Tickets went on sale Nov. 1 and will be sold online only.