A busy time of year for Wilkes Chorus

Dominick Constantino, Staff Writer

The Wilkes University Chorus ensembles have been busy practicing and performing at concert venues in the local community.

As the college semester comes to an end, the Wilkes University Chorus ensembles have been busy preparing and performing at different concerts in the local community.

On Sunday, April 22, the Wilkes University Choral Ensemble performed a concert in celebration of Earth Day. The concert featured both the Wilkes University Chorus and the Wilkes University Chamber Singers. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wilkes-Barre was the venue location.

The chorus, which includes 25 students, performed two movements from Brahms’ Requiem and two other shorter works. The Chamber Singers performed pieces by Thomas Tomkins, Felix Mendelssohn and Vincent Persichetti. All the works of the concert relate in some way to the earth or the environment according to Steven Thomas, choral director at Wilkes University.

An event like this in the community allows Wilkes to connect with the community in ways that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

“It generates goodwill and lets the community know that Wilkes continues to have a strong music program,” said Thomas. “There are also good musical reasons for performing off-campus. One of them is that most of the music the Chorus and Chamber Singers sing was designed to be performed in a particular acoustic space – specifically, in a church.”

On April 27, the Wilkes University Chorus will join with the NEPA Philharmonic, the Choral Society of NEPA and the Marywood University Campus Choir to perform Brahms’ German Requiem. The event is going to be held at the Scranton Cultural Center at 8 p.m.

Kelly Pleva, sophomore musical theater major, said Brahms’ “German Requiem” can be difficult at times, but there are so many benefits of performing in the community with other choruses.

“The requiem can be very difficult at times so we record our rehearsals and put them on the LIVE website so we can listen to them whenever we want,” she said. “Since the concert is coming up, we are having full rehearsals with the 130 other singers and the conductor. Performing at a venue like this is very beneficial because we all grow so much from the learning experience of singing with many other talented musicians and instrumentalists.”

Thomas likes to have the students involved in events like this because it benefits them in the long run.

“It’s always a joy to meet and sing with other people who share your love of making good music,” he said. “The Wilkes students benefit because they get to perform with a professional orchestra and professional vocal soloists, and be a part of a performance that will feature very high-level music making.”

Tickets for Brahms’ German Requiem can be obtained by going to www.nepaphil.org. For more information music performance opportunities at Wilkes, check out their website.