December 2012
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For those who love choir music around the Holidays…

Never fear because every year the McDaniel Choir puts on a wonderful performance of a variety of Holiday Songs. From Silent Night, to international Holiday songs, even being sure to include a few songs for Hanukkah, they’ve got everyone covered. Last night’s performance was very pleasant. Dr. Boudreaux, the director of the choir, has a knack for taking edgy and unique music and creating a theme based out of it. This year’s choice was Shakespeare. For those who may not know, Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter and eloquent lyricism have often lent themselves to be put to melody and sung by choirs. Last night’s selections featured a variety of madrigals and classical pieces that brought new light to the Bard’s hallowed poetry and dramas.

Though I am an English major, I have never been fond of these artistic liberties. In my mind, if Shakespeare had wanted his words to be written in song form, he probably would have written melody to go with them. However, last night’s performance was rare in that it altered my stubborn opinion. There are still reasons that I would say I prefer other choir music to the recreations of Shakespeare’s writing but Dr. Boudreaux did a very nice job with these pieces. Having sung in choir last year, I’m familiar with her style. She focuses intently on rhythm and notes to begin with and then lyric comes last. This benefits the choir’s performance because every beautiful note that the person who arranged the music put in is articulated with perfection, because that’s what it is all about in the end anyway, the music.

Going to the performance really made me miss choir. I quit because of the time commitments of everything I had chosen to focus on in my college life; there just wasn’t time for all of it. And that is a huge part of the experience is realizing your limits and deciding what is important to you and if you have enough time to dedicate yourself to everything. I don’t regret dropping out this semester, but I may be considering rejoining next semester. Of course I’m really only in it for the Christmas music, so maybe next Fall is a better choice.

Still, it was very nice to still be able to enjoy the choir in some way, even if it was just from a pew in the back of Big Baker (the chapel on campus that is now used mostly for performances since McDaniel is non-denominational). At the end of the Holiday Concert each year, the choir sings a song called Still, Still, Still. This is a traditional lullaby and to me embodies the spirit of Christmas since it both embodies the quiet anticipation of Christmas morning while respecting the relaxing nature of the holiday. The resonance in the chapel was beautiful and the performance in its entirety really put me in the mood for Christmas.

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