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PSU Choir performs at Holiday Luncheon

Members of the University Choir sing to a group of parents and supporters of the department of music on Dec. 1. The group performed during a musical luncheon that was held inside the Overman Student Center and featured many holiday songs performed by the University Choir and Chorale groups. Dominic Santiago

The Pittsburg State University Choirs performed in front of numerous supporters during a holiday-themed musical luncheon on December 1.

The event was held inside the Overman Student Center and featured a buffet-style meal with entertainment by members of the choir.

Members of the university administration including Steve Scott, university president, were present at the luncheon. The choir performed a variety of popular holiday songs including ‘Silent Night’ ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ and ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

In the past, the group has held an event similar to this in September. However, the choir was given the opportunity to perform at this event that is usually run by Campus Activities.

“Well, there’s been a holiday lunch of some kind here for many years,” said Susan Marchant, professor of music and director of the choirs. “This is a little bit different because of how we modeled it. In previous years this lunch wasn’t a choir event but rather a Campus Activities event. So, instead, we modeled it on the dinners that we do in September. Which is to say, we sing and perform stuff all around the room and we have a theme of some kind.”

The performance featured solos and small group performances from the 70-person choir. The majority of soloists were seniors or upper classmen.

“Many of the people who had solo moments today are people who are graduating, going on to student teaching right now. So, we like to honor them and their time here. We work through the pieces during our regular rehearsals,” Marchant said.

The group practiced the songs during their normal rehearsal while also preparing for other concerts and performances.

“Each group rehearses for three hours a week. So, our previous concert was the first week of November and then we put this concert, so it was not long after that,” Dr. Marchant said.

Dr. Marchant talked more about the process of preparing for this performance.

“We will try different pieces in rehearsal, and we’ll just see what resonates with people and what doesn’t. And sometimes we will practice something and then put it back on the shelf. Maybe, it just doesn’t feel right. So, the ones that we end up doing are ones that everybody feel committed to and enjoys,” Marchant said.

With a larger venue, singers can have a hard time adjusting to an open space, according to Marchant.

“This was a challenge. They had to work to adjust to the venue. We had to adjust for the distance and accounting for a little bit of delay around the room. They learn a lot by working in this venue as opposed to standing on risers right next to each other where they can hear really easily,” Marchant said.

Marchant also talked about how the university choir is made up of both music majors and non-music majors.

The University Choirs will perform again during the spring semester.

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