by Matt Balogh
Many music enthusiasts gathered in Founder’s Hall on Thursday to enjoy the sounds of various singing groups here at Central Connecticut State University. The CCSU Chorale, Blue Notes and the University Singers took the stage for a performance full of wonderful arrangements. The performance was free to all, opening the doors to many students and faculty members.
Beginning strongly, the Chorale performed a composition by Martini, to which conductor Drew Collins jokingly expressed, “It’s always fun to start things off with a Martini.” All went well throughout their set, simultaneously flipping through their music sheets as their sound erupted around the room.
Interestingly enough, the second arrangement in their performance, “Der Tanz” by Schubert, they had performed 3 different times. Considering that the original was around a minute and a half long and arranged for a quartet and piano accompaniment, they included that exact arrangement in the middle of the song, aiding to its original setting.
To close their portion of the show, the group had done a tribute to George Gershwin with a medley of his classics “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin,” “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” The various sections blended well, including a strong bass section that shook the surrounding area. In addition to an angelic Soporano to match the rest, evening out the entire mix.
The next group was the Blue Notes Vocal Jazz group, a fairly new group to the lineup, performing acapella jazz. Featuring many of the members of the Chorale, the 8-piece group did a set consisting of a Greg Jasperse composition. Although it was quick, their style was an interesting piece to the lineup. The group sang in a “scat” style annunciation, featuring no intelligible words, just syllables.
The University Singers then closed the concert with the Chorale members. Singing without the accompaniment of a piano, the group held a strong sound and balanced well together.
Their first arrangement, a working of Bach’s “Ich Lasse Dich Nicht,” featured a ‘call and response’ style vocal arrangement, as the parts switched back and forth between sections. Switching between energetic and loud pieces, soft and mellow, the group filled the remainder of the show with fantastic arrangements.
Senior singer Hunter Bustamante, a member of the Chorale and the Blue Notes, spoke highly of the groups, “the most important aspect of preparation is the amount of practice time and dedication put into each piece.” Each piece was arranged to fit the size of the group and each individual part, a process that each member contributes a large portion to. Bustamante continued that overall “members of the groups join for a variety of reasons, most commonly the love of making music with others in a friendly environment.”
Both the Chorale and the Blue Notes host shows twice a semester, however, the University Singers are much more active in their performances. The groups consist of all CCSU students with an interest in musical arrangement and singing. Accepting all types of students, the various groups welcome anyone to join.