Singers, Choristers impress students, locals alike

On Sunday, Oct. 28, the Geneseo Carol Choristers and the Geneseo Chamber Singers (both directed by associate music professor Gerard Floriano) performed a concert together at the Central Presbyterian Church on Center Street.

The performance featured holiday and seasonal numbers ranging in origin and style, and was enjoyed by a packed audience of Geneseo students, faculty and community members.

The first half of the concert featured the all-female Carol Choristers with adjunct faculty member Annemarie Scotto accompanying on piano. The group began with "O Lovely Peace," part of George F. Handel's oratorio Judas Maccabeaus, an uplifting number that received much applause from the audience. Next, the group performed a German piece, "Herbstlied," by Robert Schumann in the original language - an impressive effort.

Following this, the Choristers left the stage and situated themselves around the audience to sing "Suscepit Israel" from Johann Bach's Magnificat in D. The new position of the Choristers created an echoing effect that fully immersed the audience in the sound of their voices blending with and complimenting each other.

For their last piece, two songs from Frostiana by American composer Randall Thompson, the Choristers regathered on stage. The first song, "Come In," was a solemn number that built up in energy and sound as it progressed, then ended softly. The second, "A Girl's Garden," was much livelier and more upbeat, ending the Choristers' segment of the concert with an energy reflected by the round of applause that arose as they exited the stage.

After a brief intermission, the Chamber Singers (a co-ed choir) entered, surrounding the audience for their first number just as the Choristers had done. They began with the Christian choir song "Haec Dies" by sixteenth-century composer William Byrd. Again, the experience of the audience was heightened by the effect of the voices blending and echoing throughout the church.

Following this was the lengthy German opus, "Liebeslieder Waltzer," by Johannes Brahms, the second German piece to be sung in that nation's language. The piece featured several stanzas that alternated between male and female singers. Two notable events that took place during the Brahms performance were solos by senior vocal performance major/soprano Jennifer Groves and senior music major/tenor Benjamin Kneeland. Groves' singing was passionate, and her rich voice gave a very authentic sound to her solo. Kneeland, likewise, gave a quality performance with his strong voice and dynamic energy.

The final work performed by the Chamber Singers, "If I Got My Ticket, Can I Ride?," was arranged by American composers Robert Shaw and Alice Parker. This spiritual choir song added a contemporary atmosphere to the concert, and its performance was very well-received by the audience. A notable solo was performed by senior musical theater major Nick Moran while the Chamber Singers provided back-up and clapped to the beat.

The Geneseo Carol Choristers and the Geneseo Chamber Singers will be giving performances throughout the semester. Information on concerts can be found at The Geneseo School of Performing Arts Web site: