Fall Vocal Concert


Natalie Bergeron

Vocal junior Ashlyn Taylor performs a solo during “Wood River,” by Willi Zwozdesky, while vocal dean Ken Taylor directs the chorus to sing background notes.

As an all-female chorus serenades the audience, vocal junior Ashlyn Taylor tentatively approaches the stage front. “So won’t you come with me where the wood river flows?” Taylor sings, her voice sweet and lingering, her notes reverberating throughout the stunned silence of Meyer Hall.

The Fall Vocal concert, hosted on Oct. 13, was the first event of the year for the vocal department. Family, friends, and peers gathered in Meyer Hall to witness singers of all grades and majors perform numbers they’d been practicing since the first week of school.

 “After the concert ended, this feeling of satisfaction washed over me like a tidal wave,” vocal junior Hailey Kennedy said. “To watch something that you’ve worked so hard on come to life is absolutely incredible. The [whole vocal department] has been rehearsing since the school year started, both inside and out of the classroom, so I’m so full of pride at how well everyone executed their performance.”

The annual concert featured a diverse ensemble selection, with numbers varying in tone, duration, and performers. The event featured an all-female chorus performing the likes of “Peter Piper,” by Lon Leery and “Wood River,” by Willi Zwozdesky. In addition, the concert included an all-male group entitled the Singing Gents performing “Gentle Annie” by Stephen Foster and “Rise Up” by Andra Day, in which the audience snapped and tapped their feet to the irresistible tune. It also incorporated a co-ed Singer’s Ensemble performing eighties-inspired numbers such as “In the Mood” by Robert Sterling and “When I Fall in Love” by Kirby Shaw.

“It was surprisingly difficult to learn ‘Peter Piper’ because there’s so many tongue twisters in the song,” vocal junior Alexa Burnston said. “It was challenging to even say the lyrics, much less sing them, so I really had to become familiar with the rhythm to master it in time for the concert.”

The songs elicited various emotions from the audience, with some such as “Walk Together, Children” by Moses Hogan intended to inspire: to foster feelings of love, harmony, and serenity. Other songs, such as the number “Banquet Fugue” by John Rutter, evoked laughter and cheeky grins from the audience–preaching of overstuffed stomachs and including noises of “gobble gobble, slurp slurp.”

“The humorous numbers were definitely my favorite, especially ‘Banquet Fugue,’” Burnston said. “It was so cute and original, and I loved seeing the audience laughing along with the lyrics.”

Furthermore, the Fall Concert marked the first ever vocal event in which freshmen were allowed to perform. The ninth grade vocal majors performed a select few special numbers, including “Farewell, My Love,” by Charles Hirt, dazzling the audience with their sheer potency as their voices carried throughout the quiet room. Each of the numbers featured a piano accompaniment from piano senior Emily Thompson.

“It was an all-around amazing experience,” vocal freshman Noah Sams said. “I had my family in the audience, I was surrounded by my friends and peers, and in a sense it was my first taste of how warm, inviting, and supportive the Dreyfoos community is.”

The concert also incorporated other students from the music department, including an orchestra accompaniment to the number “Dixit Dominus” by George Frideric Handel and featuring a jazz band along with the ensemble “Until I Met You,” by Paris Rutherford. The concert even featured maracas to accompany the exotic tune of “Muie Rendera,” by Pinto Fonseca.

“I think the instruments really enhanced the performance and took it to another level,” theatre senior Michael Joseph said. “As a band major, I was really impressed with how well the singers harmonized with the musical tunes, everything seemed to be perfectly timed.”