ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Fidelio and Chorus Focus on Family In Vocal and Choral Concert

As Emma Chatson ’18, a soprano in the Fidelio Society and the Academy Chorus, belted out, “I am going home,” the rest of the Fidelio Society and the Academy Chorus complemented her voice with sweet and soothing crescendos to conclude “Going Home” by Antonin Dvořák.

“I think [‘Going Home’ is] a beautiful piece, and I think there may be a chance of us getting to sing it with the orchestra. I think the contrast between the sensitivities, and then you have the big crescendos and all the parts are building on each other and the contrast between those two are really beautiful,” said Paige Busse ’19, a soprano in the Academy Chorus.

The concert, entitled “It Takes A Village,” was held in Cochran Chapel last Saturday during Family Weekend, featuring eight performances from the Fidelio Society and the Academy Chorus.

Performed by the Fidelio Society, “Come, Come Whoever You Are” by Giselle Wyers opened with a recurring “come, come” in a range of pitches. Towards the middle of the song, the singers split into two different groupsone singing the melody and one singing the harmonyand alternated between the two until the song concluded in one rich, clear high note.

“The most challenging part of the performance was singing the opening piece ‘Come, Come Whoever You Are.’ It’s really difficult to sing because [all the singing parts are] mixed up, and I’m the only bass within a couple people to my left and to my right, so I can’t hear anybody. I also can’t really hear myself because I’m singing amongst sopranos and altos, and I have to hold my part without being able to know what I sound like, and that’s really really dangerous,” said Herbie Rimerman ’17, a bass singer in the Fidelio Society.

A highlight of the evening was the Academy Chorus’s rendition of “On Children” by Ysaye Barnwell. The sopranos began the song by singing a single line before the rest of the chorus joined in, creating a sense of cohesion and sonority. Maintaining the joyful tone throughout the song, the chorus concluded the song with a clean, unified sound.

“Singing ‘On Children’ was really inspiring to me because the song has a powerful message for parents. The song tells parents to love and guide their children to the best of their ability, yet allow their children to be their own person. It was an honor to improvise during this song because I was able to spread this message and hopefully touch the hearts of all of the parents in the audience,” said Chatson.

This concert marks the first time that the Fidelio Society has been directed by Abbey Siegfried, Instructor in Music,  after Christopher Walter, former Instructor in Music, retired last year.

“I came back to chorus this year thinking that it was going to be really sad the entire year because [Walter] wasn’t here, but [Siegfried] has done such an amazing job that the choir room doesn’t feel empty. The chapel doesn’t feel empty when we’re performing, and that’s really, really cool. She has worked so incredibly hard for us as an ensemble, and she cares so much, and she believes in us,” said Rimerman.