Contact: Kathi Fraze at 575.562.2377
PORTALES--Eastern New Mexico University will welcome its Alumni Choir back to campus for performances over Homecoming. Their feature performance is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, in Buchanan Hall of the Music Building. They will appear at the Donor Recognition Concert at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, in the same location.
The Alumni Choir will perform “Behold, I Build a House” by Lukas Foss, along with current students in the ENMU Choir, at the Donor Recognition Concert on Friday. “It’s a perfect piece for the rededication of Buchanan Hall,” says Jason Paulk, assistant professor of music.
The current choirs will perform individually, then alongside the Alumni Choir for the Saturday feature performance. The pieces will include “Comedy Tonight,” “Rejoice in the Lamb,” “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven,” “Song for Athene,” “In Dat Great Gittin’ Up Mornin’,” “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” and a premiere performance by ENMU student composer Jared Aragon.
Paulk expects approximately 85 alumni making the journey from around the country to return to campus for this year’s Homecoming. The only requirement for membership in the ENMU Alumni Choir is that the former student has participated in choir.
Paulk and other member of the music faculty began preparing for the event last year. “We wanted to create a special event for the alumni to dedicate the George Umberson Choral Rehearsal Room during Homecoming,” says Paulk. “We are so happy that so many people contributed unselfishly to make the naming of the George Umberson Choral Rehearsal Room a reality.”
Umberson directed the ENMU choirs from 1960-70 and will return to direct the alumni in their performances.
Though the members of the choir have had their sheet music before Homecoming weekend, they will only be able to rehearse as a full choir on Thursday through Saturday for a total of five hours between performances.
Paulk says there were many challenges with registering people and arranging the event, including distributing music to the members. “Lots of details had to be in place for it to run efficiently—which is what we expect,” says Paulk.
According to Paulk, “Alumni will be reconnecting with friends from many years ago through singing, an activity that connects the mind, body, and spirit in a very special and meaningful way.
Paulk says, “This is an event folks should not miss! Great music and some really wonderful people are involved.”
For more information, contact Kathi Fraze at 575-562-2377.