Scrolling Headlines:

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

Sound surrounds at Five College Choral Festival

The Five College Choral Festival, held every two to three years at Smith College, fell this year on Saturday, Feb. 20. A popular event in the Pioneer Valley, the festival featured twelve groups and nearly 500 individual singers from the Five College Consortium.

The Hampshire College Chorus premiered with “Cantique de Jean Racine, op. 11” by Gabriel Faure, conducted by Elizabeth Hart and accompanied by Gretchen Saathoff. Beautiful and hymnlike, the piece was sung with nice attention to dynamics and diction. Sung in French, the English translation was displayed on the balcony walls on either side of the stage. Several of the festival’s other pieces also required translation.

With four groups performing, Amherst College followed with a diverse array of pieces. The Amherst College Concert Choir, conducted by Mallorie Chernin, performed “Si ch’io vorrei morire,” an Italian madrigal by Claudio Monteverdi. The Concert Choir started strong, with great attention to dynamics and a floating harmony. The Amherst College Madrigal Singers, conducted by Zohar Perla (Class of 2012), serenaded the audience with “Et La La La” by Ninot Le Petit. With less than a dozen members, the group kept good tempo and gave a strong performance. “Mary Wore Three Links of Chain,” a spiritual arranged by G. Roberts Kolb, was performed by The Amherst College Women’s Chorus, with James Laff conducting. Vocals were shallow at times, but the alto part was strong, almost eerie. Finishing off for Amherst was The Amherst College Glee Club, conducted by Mallorie Chernin. With Philip Dupont (‘12) and Roger Creel (‘13) on piano, the Glee Club performed “Old Dan Tucker,” an American folksong arranged by Douglas L. Ipson. The vocals were strong, complimented by lively acting, clapping, and stomping.

The Five College Collegium of The Five College Early Music Program, directed by Robert Eisenstein, sang “Tu solus qui facis mirabilia,” a Renaissance piece by Josquin des Pres.

Sleek and uniform, The Mount Holyoke Glee Club and The Mount Holyoke Chorale, both conducted by Miguel Felipe, took the stage next. The Glee Club performed selections “El Grito” and “Malaguena” from “Suite’ de Lorca” by Einojuhani Rautavaara, a composer of contemporary classical music. The Chorale sang “Pounding on an Open Door” and “Captain of My Heart” from “The All-Night Vigil or Rabi’a al-Adawiyya” by Forrest Pierce in its premiere performance. With Kivie Cahn-Lipman on amplified cello, the instrumentals emphasized the pieces, especially “Captain of My Heart,” which was one of the most beautiful, memorable pieces with its soft dynamics and chants.

Conducted by Tony Thornton, The University of Massachusetts ensembles, looking aesthetically pleasing in uniforms, performed a diverse range of pieces. The Chamber Choir sang “Sure on This Shining Night (Nocturnes)” by Morten Lauridsen, poem by James Agee, which was a peaceful, pleasing, lullaby-like piece. The Chorale performed “Turn the World Around” by Harry Belafonte and Robert Freedman and arranged by Larry Farrow. A bit repetitive and relying heavily on the piano in the beginning, the piece was inspiring by the end. The ensembles combined for “Va pensiero (Nabucco)” by Giuseppe Verdi, accompanied by pianist Nicholas Shaneyfelt. With a long piano intro, the piece was emotional, powerful, and inspirational, with a strong attention to dynamics.

The Smith College Chorus, conducted by Greg Brown and accompanied by Catherine M. Kay, performed “O Sonne, O Sonne” from “Zwold Gesange” by Cornelius Uwe Gustav Jenner, text by Ferdinand Gregorovius. The piece was light and airy, with a unison sound and rich harmony. The Smith College Glee Club, conducted by Jonathan Hirsh, performed “Tidings of Great Joy” by Clifton J. Noble Jr., who also accompanied the piece. The composition was upbeat, with strong vocals and great intonation.

For the finale, the choirs from all five colleges combined for a rendition of “Plorate, filii Israel” from “Jephte” by Giacomo Carissimi, chosen by guest conductor Kristina Boerger. With the conductor on stage and the choirs in the balcony, the arrangement had the effect of surround sound. Strong and rich, each vocal part had its moment to shine in this beautiful, culminating piece.

Lindsay Pierce can be reached at lcpierce@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment