Winter concert exudes holiday spirit

With holidays in sight, music school concert hoped to set tone for spirit

SAM SCHMITKE, Evergreen reporter

Door-to-door carolers are nothing compared to this year’s Holiday Concert conducted by the School of Music. An abundance of songs for the Pullman community kicked off the holiday season at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The performance was a team effort performed by the Madrigal Singers, Treble Choir, Tenor/Bass Choir, Concert Choir and Symphony Orchestra.

Lori Wiest, Madrigal Singers and Concert Choir director, said the groups wanted to bring choral music into everyone’s lives.

“Our art in choral music exists as a team endeavor, greater than any one person,” Wiest said.

As a preview for the concert, Wiest promised a variety of moods and characters in the selections — joy, celebration, praise, reflection and peace.

“I believe the audience will feel very connected to many or all of the selections, but will undoubtedly fall in love with at least one of the songs they will hear,” Wiest said.

Performers sang renditions of “Here We Come A-Caroling” by Josh Sparkman, “Trinity Te Deum” by Eriks Esenvalds and “The Huron Carol” by Dan Forrest.

Sophomore music major Jared Peterson said “Trinity Te Deum” was his favorite song.

“The reason why it’s so exciting to me is because it’s a rare opportunity for the choir to be able to sing with so many other powerful instruments as these,” Peterson said. “ ‘Trinity Te Deum’ is majestic in every sense of the word and will most definitely steal the show.”

Kristina Gaumnitz, junior music education major, said she was excited to perform “Here We Come A-Caroling” since it exudes the holiday spirit.

“The first time I heard it I honestly thought it was out of a Hallmark holiday movie,” Gaumnitz said. “This piece just brings joy and love to my heart and I know it will do the same with the audience.”

Peterson said a large part of music is to connect people with art. He said the opportunity to perform is a gift for both the audience and the performers.

“It allows performers to share with the world what they love, and it gives the audience an escape from the cares of life,” he said. “They can press pause on their life and be immersed in so much amazing music.”

The concert also showcased some familiar songs — “Sleigh Ride” and “A Christmas Festival,” both composed by Leroy Anderson, filled the hall with nostalgia-inducing notes.

Gaumnitz said when songs resonate more with the audience, it adds to their experience as performers.

“Being able to end the concert as one whole unit, with a large majority of the ensembles participating and the integration of the audience with the ensembles, really creates a homely and joyful atmosphere where the audience and the musicians feel like one whole group,” she said, “which to me is the best way to end a concert.”

Peterson said he wanted the audience to leave this concert humming along to their favorite moment from the afternoon as they drove home. He hoped this would get people to look forward to the next production WSU has to offer.

As the fall semester comes to an end, the songs of the holiday spirit will remain. The concert was a good way to bring in the holiday spirit for the start of December.