For The Love Of Music

Rachel Jenks

The department of music’s “For the Love of Music” concert drew a full house to the Reynolds Recital Hall on Sunday,  Oct. 11. The choral concert featured three of NMU’s choir groups, the Madrigal Singers, University Choir, and the Lake Effect Show Choir.  Erin Colwitz conducted the University Choir and the Madrigal Singers. Sharon Green conducted the Lake Effect Show Choir. Accompanying the University Choir and Madrigal singers was Lynne Lanczy, Staff Piano Accompanist.

The show was divided into seven sections: For the Love of Song, Life, Poetry, God, Opera, Singing Together and Matters of the Heart. The show opened with the combination of the University Choir and the Madrigal Singers.

The first song, “With a Voice of Singing” by Kenneth Jennings, was a strong place to start, as it highlighted the combined skills of the singers. Their voices were a captivating force that demanded the audience’s attention.

From that point on, many of the songs had a featured performer or soloist. In “For the Love of Opera,” a soloist sang a single song, “Tornami a vagheggiar” by G.F. Handel. It was sung by soprano Hayley Kukulis, accompanied by Maggie Kieckhafer on the piano.

I’ve seen my fair share of opera, both in America and in Europe, and my childhood neighbor was a professional opera singer. Frankly, I didn’t have extremely high expectations when it came to university opera; college, after all, is the time for a singer’s education  and progress in this classical art.

That being said, Kukulis blew me away. I was expecting at least a few notes that would make me cringe, but they never came.

Stage presence is also important to me. If a performer doesn’t want to be there, it impacts the show no matter how talented they are; Kukulis was comfortable on stage and put her heart into her performance, making it all the more enjoyable.

Following the University Choir and Madrigal Singers was the Lake Effect Show Choirs. This group is less of the traditional choir than the previous two. It’s a performance group that incorporates dance, modern songs, and sequined costumes. Overall Lake Effect was entertaining to watch.

The bone I have to pick with this concert is song selection. Two of the four songs Lake Effect performed were from “Frozen.” Thankfully “Let it Go” was not one of them, but I think I could go the rest of my life without another reference to that overrated and over-referenced movie.

For the Madrigal Singers and University Choirs, the majority of their songs were religious– specifically Christian—in nature.

There was even a whole section entitled For the Love of God. Seeing as this was at a secular university, and the choral groups were also secular, this was slightly off-putting to me.

Despite these small bones, “For The Love Of Music” was a celebration of music’s ability to express joy across so many different topics.

A wide range of ability was showcased during the performance, highlighting talent right here at NMU.