Keene State’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers had their final performance of the semester, a performance of hope and perseverance on Saturday, April 29.

The Chamber Singers began the show with four songs and five movements. The ensemble performed “Please Stay” by Jake Runestad, a song about suicide prevention. The piece was conducted by senior Emma Bishop. Dr. Sandra Howard, director of both ensembles, spoke about the importance of “Please Stay.”

“It’s talking about our voices trying to reach out to people who might be contemplating selfharm or thoughts of suicide…there’s a mental illness theme that we’re trying to acknowledge and bring light.”

Chamber Singers ended their set with a performance of “May It Be,” composed by the Music department’s Dr. Heather Gillian. The transition into Concert Choir involved stomps and claps led by soloist and sophomore Liz Borelli for the piece “Resilience.”

Concert Choir also had two student conductors, juniors Logan Phillips and Elise Lowe who conducted the pieces in German.

The ensemble also performed “We Walk in Love” which featured solos from the seniors of both ensembles. The piece transitioned into “Irish Blessing” which served as a senior tribute. Regarding the senior pieces, Howard said, “[The seniors] are certainly looking to move forward through finals and commencement and whatever their next chapter is. So we want to be sure to give them a great send off and part of that is featuring their voices on a song called “‘We Walk in Love”…there’s certainly a progression that happens when someone is in an ensemble for four years…they become leaders in the ensemble.”

Howard added, “ I’m trying to make sure that every grade level student knows that they have a leadership role so they don’t have to wait until they’re seniors to lead, even our freshmen are making decisions and trying to contribute to how we shape the music.”

Howard said she hoped the audience will leave the Alumni Recital Hall feeling empowered.

“I’m hoping the audience will feel moved, whether it was from the theme of love or hope, I’m hoping the audience will feel empowered to reach out and support someone else or maybe seek support if they’re feeling like they need assistance, that they feel like the choirs are trying to make a personal connection with them,” Howard said.

Benjamin Martins can be contacted at

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