Franciscan University Chorale presents early American sacred music at autumn concert


The Franciscan University Chorale, comprised of students, faculty and friends, brought its audience into the dawn of the early American heritage through early American sacred music Nov. 7 in Christ the King Chapel.

There was a variety of voices heard that evening in the different pieces performed for the chorale’s autumn concert, including soloists, a quartet and a Christmas story that combined dialogue with song to tell of Jesus’ birth.

The wide variety of music included Alice Parker’s composition “Melodious Accord” and some older American themes by William Billings from the 18th century.

The night was split into sections from the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Freshman Mary Sorteberg, a performer in the evening’s concert, said she could not choose her favorite piece.

“I like them all for different reasons,” she said.

Dressing in all black and singing in front of an audience in harmonious parts was the culmination of several hours a week practicing together, said Sorteberg.

“All things considered that was one of our better performances,” said Sorteberg.

Sorteberg’s thoughts on the evening’s performance were supported by the director, Franciscan professor George Melhorn.

“I thought it went quite well; people rose to the occasion,” said Melhorn.

A standing ovation was given by the audience at the end of the performance. The singers took their well-deserved bow as the audience continued to clap.

This concert is the first of two that the chorale will be performing this school year. The next performance will be in the spring.

When asked if she will continue with the chorale, Sorteberg answered with a strong yes, “every single year.”