Choral Union performing "A Dream of Spring"

The three-act performance ruminated on winter's end and the beginning of spring.

With March around the corner, Lee University's Choral Union recently performed a three-act showcase with hopes to inspire the audience to dream of spring.

The showcase opened at Pangle Hall on Feb. 15, under the direction of Assistant Professor of Choral Music Dr. Joshua Chaney.

“The evening [was] intended to be a reflection on the end of winter and the beginning of spring,” said Cheney. 

The performance, accompanied by pianist Mary Beth Wickes, featured pieces from Johannes Brahms, Koji Kondo, Randall Thompson, Camille Saint-Saëns, Felix Mendelssohn, Eric Barnum and Peter Anglea.

Cheney prefaced each act with a quote to invite the audience to immerse themselves in the following pieces.

The final act included a quote by L.M. Montgomery to summarize the performance: “It is always safe to dream in spring. For it is sure to come; and if it be not just as we have pictured it, it will be infinitely sweeter.”

Assistant Conductor for Choral Union John Bell said that the goal of the evening was to evoke emotions of rejuvenation by taking the audience through a series of sentiment-provoking pieces.

“We were trying to evoke a solemn feeling into the audience and then take them out of it with the culmination of spring in anticipation of our final piece,” said Bell.

Sophomore music and psychology major McKenzie Abbott performed in the showcase and said the show embodied the changing of the seasons. She hopes the audience left feeling the same way.

“I hope that people left feeling lighter, feeling ready for spring and feeling the joy that that comes along with that,” said Abbott.

Choral Union is a large mixed-voice ensemble with a unique blend of Lee’s music majors, non-music majors, faculty, staff and locals to the Cleveland area.

Choral Union is devoted to performing an assortment of new choral music, as well as masterworks for choir and orchestra.

Abbott said the personal dynamics of the group can vary, but the diverse nature of their choir ultimately plays into their ability to perform their choral pieces.

“Choral Union is a really large ensemble, so it’s hard to get to know everyone,” Abbott said. “But because of our size, we can do some harder pieces…which can be really cool.”

Abbott also said that Cheney plays a large role in fostering unity throughout the choir.

“Dr. Cheney does a great job trying to know—at least—our names, and is willing to get to know us, which helps with the unity of the choir,” said Abbott.

Choral Union is a non-audition group and is welcoming to all who are interested in choral music.

For more information on Choral Union and for a schedule of upcoming events, contact the School of Music at (423) 614-8240 or music@leeuniversity.edu.

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