Chorale, band showcase talent in season opener

The Agora Chorale and College Community Band showcased a blend of international music for the opening night of the 2010-2011 season.

Titled “Music Near and Far,” the band played music from a variety of cultures. The Meyer Theatre had more than 500 people in attendance.

The audience was first treated to the beautiful and sometimes subdued spiritual hymns sung by the choir and led by choir director, Catherine Brodie.

After a brief intermission, the concert band, led by Mark Felder, thrilled the crowd by playing lively Japanese and Italian marches.  

For the encore performance, the band surprised the audience with a never before heard march by John Phillip Sousa entitled, “The Library of Congress March.”

Sousa was composing this march when he died, and the Library of Congress commissioned a Sousa expert to complete the piece.

This was the first of four concerts planned for the coming season.

Two of the upcoming concerts will be joint appearances with both the choir and the concert band and two will be separate appearances.   

The chorale consists of 48 members and the concert band has 87 members. The entire ensemble is made up of college students and community members and has been in existence since the college started in the 1960s.

Felder said the concerts are one of the best kept secrets at the college.

“It gives the students a chance to play with a professional group,” Felder said.