On Friday, Dec. 9, the Keene State College Music Department presented a performance featuring the Keene State Concert Choir.
Keene State faculty member Diane Cushing directed the performance with the assistance of Hailley Dufresne, the student conductor. Vladimir Odinokikh, Keene State faculty member, performed the piano accompaniment to the choral program.
The KSC Chamber Singers joined the Concert Choir for select pieces on the program.
The concert program began with “Laudate Jehovam, omnes gentes” by the Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann.
For this piece, the Concert Choir was accompanied by violinists Carolyn Cunningham and Steven Lauture, who are members of the Keene State Orchestra.
The extensive program also included “Songs of Sorrow and Hope” by Stephen Feigenbaum, featuring texts by Hanuš Hachenburg, a 14-year-old boy who perished in the Terezin concentration camp during the Holocaust.
This piece also included textual contributions by Donna Rubinstein, a Holocaust survivor, and by Mary Kimani, who witnessed the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
The concert program also included traditional Christmas pieces such as “The Holly and the Ivy” and “I Wonder as I Wander” by John Jacob Niles, featuring Keene State vocal soloist Emily McIntyre.
Emily McIntyre, Keene State first-year and music education major, performed as a vocal soloist and is a member of the Concert Choir.
McIntyre said, “It was really cool working with Director Cushing. I loved working on different repertoire.”
Diane Cushing, director of the Concert Choir, said, “It was so neat working with the students. I felt like the choir rose to the occasion to perform the varied musical program. Keene State College has some great music majors and musicians.”
Sam Bellemore, member of the Keene State Chamber Singers, said, “It was a good time performing with the Concert Choir. It is always an interesting combination of repertoire, particularly the ‘Songs of Sorrow and Hope’ about the Holocaust.”
Sam Johnson, a sophomore at Keene State, said that he “thoroughly enjoyed” the concert. Johnson also said, “I really liked the mix of various pieces featuring different dialects.”
Megan Flanders, a first-year at Keene State, said the “concert was really good. I thought the ‘Songs of Sorrow’ was really powerful and emotional.”
Ethan Chalmers can be contacted at email@example.com