Chorus, chamber singers to showcase efforts April 13

Amanda Kornak, Correspondent

Wilkes University’s Chorus and Chamber Singers have been working this year to prepare a variety of songs for their upcoming concert.

The concert will be at 3 p.m. April 13 in the First Presbyterian Church, 97 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre.

“We have a lot of upbeat things,” said Kelly Pleva, a senior member of the chorus and Chamber Singers. “Chamber Singers have a lot in foreign languages we have some fun French pieces, Italian pieces, and we’re actually doing a four movement piece by Bach, which is really interesting, that’s in German, and we have some nonsense songs. Some things you might recognize some stuff you probably won’t, but it’s all good stuff.”

“I really, really, really enjoy the French piece that we’re going to be doing,” said Amanda Thomas, a junior member of the chorus and Chamber Singers. “It’s called ‘Danse Mon, Moin, Danse.’”

“Danse Mon, Moin, Danse” is a comedic song about telling a monk to dance, but the singers are confused and think they are telling a monkey to dance.

“The piano accompaniment makes you feel like you’re at a circus, it’s really creepy but it’s fun at the same time, if that makes any sense,” Thomas said.

Although the concert showcases many upbeat songs, the audience will also hear some softer pieces. Included in the program are songs with a more serious tone and somber storyline.

“There’s happy music, joyful music, and also sorrowful music, although there’s more happy stuff than sorrowful because it makes for a more pleasant concert,” said Dr. Steven Thomas, the director of choral activities at Wilkes University.

“We have this piece, called ‘I Love My Love,’ and it’s a folk song from Cornwall in Great Britain, and it’s arranged by Gustav Holst. This is actually a kind of funny piece in a way because it sort of straddles the two, the joy and the sorrow,” Dr. Thomas said.

The song tells the story of a woman who loses her lover out at sea. She becomes so distressed that she is admitted into a mental hospital, but then her lover returns and they get married.

“It’s sort of an open question, is it a happy song or is it not a happy song. Did it actually happen or is she imagining it?” Dr. Thomas said.

Audience members are left to think for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions as to whether the woman is imagining this or if there truly is a happy ending.

“The way that Holst sets it to music, I think he’s not very optimistic about her sanity, let’s put it that way,” Dr. Thomas said.

Pleva and Amanda Thomas encourage everyone to help support live art and entertainment.

“In reality, if you had a day without some sort of art form in it we would be in a world full of gray and nothingness, so just think about your morning without music,” Amanda Thomas said.

“Go support the arts; we definitely need it and our chorus concert is always free to Wilkes students and the public, so everyone should come out and support,” Pleva said.