PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University’s Fall Choral Concert is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29 at the University Theatre Center’s Mainstage in Portales. ENMU music professor Jason Paulk is directing and his wife and ENMU music instructor Kayla Paulk will accompany from the piano. Instrumentalists who will assist include ENMU music professors Tracy Carr, oboist, and Chris Beaty, saxophonist. Two student conductors, Janice Pacheco and Derek Gilmour, will make their conducting debut.
The Chamber Singers and University Singers will perform several unaccompanied pieces from the repertoire in their upcoming spring European Choir Tour, including venues in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague. The performers have been practicing since the beginning of the semester.
Chamber Singers will perform four songs by Cecil Effinger, “Ubi Caritas” by Maurice Duruflé, conducted by Pacheco and partial songs by Gerald Finzi. University Singers will perform three songs by Charles Villiers Stanford, including a double choir piece, “Coelos ascendit hodie,” and a double choir anthem by Charles Wood. The choirs will also perform “Deep River,” arranged by Anders Paulsson, “Sing a Mighty Song,” “Ye Followers of the Lamb,” and “God Be in my Head,” and “Wondrous Love,” conducted by Gilmour.
The musical pieces are chosen by Paulk according to what he feels will challenge and help the students’ vocal development. According to Paulk, “This includes many hours of preparation and searching on my part to determine what is accessible, yet challenging enough to continually move us toward a deeper level of music making.” He also explains that most academic courses’ curriculum remains the same year to year, but performance courses must constantly adapt to the changing needs of the ensemble membership. “In five years, we have not repeated a single piece of repertoire. And I could choose not to repeat a single piece in the next thirty years and still just scratch the surface of great choral music,” says Paulk.
The Fall Choral Concert will be an exciting experience for the audience, according to Paulk. “The program will begin with a double choir motet, with one ensemble on stage and the other in the audience. It should provide for an interesting sonic experience.” says Paulk.
Paulk says, “We have a cultured audience in Portales and I think they will appreciate the many hours of preparation that went into this concert.”
The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kathi Fraze at 575.562.2237.