Choral ensembles sing about getting through dark times


Rob Le Cates

Member of the ensembles watch their director, Kellie Clark, give instruction for vocal cues. The concert took place Sunday afternoon and was called “Through Darkness to Light.” Clark said the selection of music was one of the hardest parts for this concert and that she wanted it to reflect the recent pandemic.

Katja Benz, Campus Reporter

The Eastern choral ensembles had their first concert of the semester Sunday afternoon, singing songs with a specific message in mind: we can get through dark times and find the light.

Some of the choirs had various types of accompaniment, from two cellos to two piano players to a drummer. The final two songs were performed by all three choirs with piano accompaniment.

The Director of Choral Activities, Kellie Clark conducted the choirs in Sunday’s concert. She thought the choirs did an amazing job, especially with the COVID-19 protocols that have been in place since the start of the pandemic.

“I thought they did great,” Clark said. “We’re coming back from a long absence with COVID and things have been sort of hard. It’s really nice to get back on stage again. They’ve worked really hard and we’re all getting used to each other, so I was really proud of them. I thought they did a fantastic job today.”

The theme of Sunday’s concert was light and dark, which Hunter Holaway, a freshman history education major and choir singer, thought was well orchestrated, as well as the concert itself.

“At the beginning, there were more solemn songs. I got happier and happier until the final song, ‘Joy,’ which is fitting, so I like that,” Holaway said.

When thinking of pieces for each choir to sing at the concert, Clark said she started planning over the summer, which is when she thought of the light and dark theme for the show. She also wanted to use composers that were more current.

“When I was planning that back in the summer, I of course had been through this wild couple of years like we all had,” Clark said. “I had in mind this thought about the process of sort making our way through times that are difficult or dark or troublesome. And so we use this metaphor of dark and light in order to bring that to life for the audience. I also wanted to include a lot of current composers who were living the same experiences that we were. So a lot of the music that you heard on the concert this afternoon was written within the last year or two.”

Christian Walls, a senior political science major, is in two of the three choirs that performed. He said that the light and dark theme in the pieces reminded him of how things have been going these past couple of years with COVID-19.

“I believe that last year and still this year, the world’s kind of just in a weird time. I feel that through the pieces that we are saying we can somehow shine light. And the audience in their lives,” Walls said.

The next ensemble concert will be the percussion ensembles. The concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Black Box Theater of the Doudna Fine Arts Center. Tickets, which can be purchased online or at the box office of Doudna, cost $5 for students and $6 for faculty, seniors and the public. All are welcome to attend.


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]