Student chorale praised for ‘beautiful’ performance


Applause rose as voices soared and enthralled the audience at the Franciscan University Chorale’s “Songs from the Heart” concert, held at 3 p.m. on April 27 in the Gentile Gallery.

The six chorale members performed a total of 10 stunning pieces about the different forms and expressions of love, beginning with Earlene Rentz’s choral arrangement of the Emily Dickinson poem “Heart, We Will Forget Him,” which was followed by a playful song titled “Dance on My Heart.”

Next came a solo by junior Frances Buchanan, who skillfully performed the aria “Bel Piacere” from Handel’s opera “Agrippina.”

Complete with chillingly dissonant harmony, freshmen sisters Mary Beth and Regina Hayes joined together in a duet titled “Sure on This Shining Night.” Mary Beth introduced the piece as “a song about hope in the midst of despair.”

The next five songs were a series of stirring religious hymns, including a rendition of “Be Thou My Vision” with enthrallingly unique melodies, a version of Psalm 23 set to music entitled “The Shepherd Psalm,” Johannes Brahms’ arrangement of “Ave Maria” and the medley piece “O Sacred, Wondrous Love.”

The concert ended with a rousing resurrection song in honor of the Easter octave, “Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep,” which was accompanied by the flute of junior Gabriella Carrizales.

George Melhorn, who holds a master’s degree in music education and conducting and directs the chorale, provided piano accompaniment for the performance.

Although the attendance was small, those who heard the music did not want to leave, remaining after the concert to visit the performers and comment on the success of the performance.

Freshman Lucy Hildebrand said, “I thought it was really beautiful.”

Agreeing with Hildebrand, freshman Laura Durand said, “I liked how it sounded (and) I loved the harmonies that they did. … It was just very well done.”

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