Tentative but soothing freshmen voices were heard from the PAC last Friday as auditions for concert choir were held in the basement. The 200-300 individuals sang a few bars in hopes that they would land one of the 70 spots. After students were welcomed to the audition they then had to match notes on a piano, try some sight singing, and do their best to serenade those listening with “My Country Tis of Thee.”
“We’ve heard it so many times,” chuckled Randy Olsen, president of the choir.
The SCSU Concert Choir is St. Cloud’s largest choir. They have traveled to Minneapolis on occasion and have gone as far as the renowned Carnegie Hall in New York to perform their material that ranges from the 15th century to contemporary arrangements. Although the choir has a history of excellence, Olsen is especially excited for this year’s plans.
“This year we’ll have Craig Jessop from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir coming to help us with some exercises,” Olsen said. “We’ll also have Matthew Culloton and the Singers stopping by, who are well known by the choir crowd. Cantus, an all male a cappella group will stop by too. It’s our best looking list of guests that we’ve had in a long time.”
The Concert Choir is also making a push to get more involved off campus. “A couple singers have started a side project. They’re planning on performing at the St. Cloud Gay Pride festival on Sept. 20. It’ll be flash mob sort of deal.”
“We try to keep the alumni involved as well,” Olsen said. “They can’t sing in the choir since they are no longer students, but they can help out in the community, which is really what we’re all about as an organization.”
“Choir is very important,” Olsen elaborated. “Within the culture of choir there is a chance to be something bigger than yourself.”
“It’s a really fun and comfortable atmosphere. My favorite part is the camaraderie,” added Lauren Monroe, a sophomore majoring in vocal music education.
Less than half of the participants in concert choir are music majors. “I’m a Mass Comm major and I’m the president,” Olsen said, “so it shows that all you need to have is a passion towards music.”
“It’s very heavily based on student involvement,” Olsen said. “The choir board is made up completely of students and all the volunteer opportunities are pursued by students.”
The Concert Choir has over a dozen events planned for the year, beginning with a performance at Mainstreet on Sept. 5. More information on the choir can be found at www.facebook.com/scsuchoirs.