The fifth annual winter concert
featured holiday songs from different countries, including
Kenya, Finland, China, Korea, Brazil, England and Hawai‘i,
all performed in their native languages.
The performers were coached by native speakers of all the different
languages who helped them polish their pronunciations and explained
the history each song.
It’s our mission and hope to perform the songs as authentically
as we could,” said Susan Duprey, director of choral activities.
Besides the diversity of songs, the vocal groups also presented
different styles of music. Calling it “A Musicological
Journey Through the Twelve Days of Christmas,” the group
performed each section of the concert in the 12 different styles
of the carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” The
12 styles ranged from sixth- century Rome to 15th-century France
and included 16th- and 17th-century Italy, 18th-century Germany,
18th-century Austria and 19th-century France, Germany, Austria,
Italy, Russia, and the United States.
It’s like a music history lesson in seven minutes,” Duprey
The language barrier was not the most difficult thing for Jonathan
Felarca, a member of International Vocal Ensemble. “We
had experts to help with languages,” Felarca said, adding
that they could also listen to and practice from CDs. “The
most difficult thing for me was to stay true to the different
The concert ended with the Vocal Ensemble, International Chorale,
and Chamber Orchestra combining in an inspiring performance of
Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” from The Messiah.
The International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble program began in
January 2002 under Dupery’s direction. HPU’s program
is the state’s first to specialize in ethnic choral literature.
Like the International Chorale and vocal Ensemble, the newly
formed HPU Chamber Orchestra, under Dr. Teresa McCreary’s
direction, is open to community members as well as HPU students.
Musicians who play oboe, bassoon, clarinet, French horn, trumpet,
and timpani are welcome to join.
As instrumentation builds,” McCreary said, “and the
larger brass instruments are incorporated, I hope to perform
symphonic masterworks from the Romantic era by composers such
as Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Beethoven.”
McCreary’s plans for the orchestra include expanding its
performance schedule and eventually doing a concert tour, possibly
with the International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble.