The Keene State College Chamber Singers went from practicing in the Redfern Arts Center classrooms to performing in front of hundreds in German churches this past summer.
This past May, 15 students, who are members of the Chamber Singers, got the chance to go to Germany to perform both for and with the German public.
This was made possible because of a partnership between KSC and the city of Einbeck that brings together different cultures in a variety of ways.
KSC Chamber Singers Director Dr. Sandra Howard said, “A group called VOICES came here from Germany in 2013 and by having a back-and-forth relationship and building connections, we were able to become the first group from Keene State College to travel to Einbeck.”
The group of students performed with some German groups while on the trip, names of the groups included VOICES, and Kantorei in historical German churches.
The group of performers included over 100 people which included both the KSC choir and German choir members.
Senior Choir Member Katrina Feraco said most of the songs were performed in German.
Feraco said the repertoire list included music from Johann Sebastian Bach and Heinrich Schültz.
Additionally, Feraco said the piece “Sleep” by Eric Whitacre got everyone in the audience crying.
“There were a lot of harmonies on that performance, and it was one of the songs to get the biggest reaction from the audience,” Feraco said.
The choir performed not only in German and English, but there was also a performance in French, according to KSC Senior and Chamber Singers Member Tim Peterson.
The students stayed in separate host homes, many of which were the homes of community musicians.
Howard said, “The hosts were very gracious to have us there. They provided us with not only food and shelter, but also got to show us what German family living is like.”
Some of the other opportunities the choir students had included the chance to teach private lessons and conduct for both high school and elementary school students.
Feraco led a song for high school students at Goethe-Schule, an international school in Germany.
Director Howard said, “KSC senior and Choir Member Matthew McGinnis got the chance to not only lead a song for the elementary school students, but also teach private lessons for voice.”
“The opportunity brought the choir closer and showed them what was most important about being in a choir,” Feraco said.
“The most important part about being in the choir is trust…No matter where you are, in a choir, the most important part is trust,” Feraco said
With the summer of 2017 in the past, Howard said she looks forward to the future relationship between KSC and Einbeck. “In October 2019, 35 musicians from Einbeck will visit Keene to perform with the choir, KSC choir, Keene High School choir, alumni and community members.”
Colby Dudal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org