May 21, 2024

Concert, Chamber choirs commence spring series

Some graduate students conducted one last time in Alumni Memorial Building’s Cox Auditorium

With an impending trip to the Emerald Isle and a journey’s end for graduate students, the University of Tennessee choral department began its spring concert series March 28 with the UT Concert Choir and UT Chamber Singers in Cox Auditorium.

The Concert Choir kicked off the concert with seven songs, three performed by small groups.

“These small groups were taken out of the large group and spent most of the time by themselves working on these pieces,” Dr. Angela Batey, director of choral activities, said.

Students in the graduate teaching program conducted Concert Choir’s selections, marking the swan song for several graduate students including second year graduate student Rebecca Smith.

“I took an intro to conducting class at an undergraduate level and I enjoyed it so I decided to go along with this path,” Smith said.

Smith also said keeping up with ten thousand things at once proves to be the hardest part of choral conducting, though she remains excited about her career path. She currently works with four choirs and plans to work as an elementary school choir teacher after graduation in May.

Clay Oglesby, also a second year graduate student, said he benefited from spending a lot of time with different choirs and the contemporary a cappella groups. Oglesby serves as conductor of the men’s group VOLume.

He conducted Concert Choir in “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place,” a reverent piece to end his career as a student conductor. But this may not be his last collegiate piece.

“After grad school, I am hoping to go on to teach at a community college,” Oglesby said.

While the graduate students looked to their future careers, the Chamber Singers looked forward to Irish eyes smiling as they travel to Ireland this summer.

Chamber Singers sang five songs to prepare. With three Irish songs, “Star of the County Down,” “The Flower of Maherally” and “Tell My Ma,” the Chamber Singers gave cultural insight to Irish tunes.

Next Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., the Men’s and Women’s chorales will perform in Cox Auditorium to continue the Spring 2018 concert series. For more information, visit the choral department’s website.

Featured photo: Kaitlyn Marlowe

Edited by Lexie Little

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