Live music returns to campus

As performers and audience gathered together for a long awaited performance, choir director Catherine Brodie said we need our health to live, but we need music for our soul to thrive. 

The Adrian Chamber Brass opened for the Agora Chorale. (Photos by Emma Marion).

On Tuesday, Oct. 26, the Agora Chorale broke the long-held silence in the Meyer Theatre.

“With this being the first concert in over a year it’s really nice to just have live music again,” said Sam Mohn, an audience member and band student at MCCC.

Adrian Chamber Brass and members from MCCC’s Symphonic Band opened the concert.

The ensemble included three trumpetests, a tubist, a euphonist, a french hornist and a trombonist.

Members of the band joined together in playing Flourish for Wind Band, Alleluia, Symphony #2 Movement 1 for Brass and Just a Closer Walk. 

Each piece was enlightening because we have gone so long without live music coming from the Meyer Theatre stage. They captured the essence of the night with a nice balance of tones which really filled up the auditorium. 

The call and response with simple rhythmic patterns really captured the audience and helped us remember what live music is all about.

“I hope we can get back to who we are and what we love,” said Paul Sanifer, trumpet player.

A gold sash, flowers and folder in memory of Haley Langmeyer on stage at the Agora Chorale Concert.

The final song, Just a Closer Walk, was dedicated to Haley Langmeyer, a member of the Agora Chorale, who passed away in May from COVID-19.

Audience member Ryan Jewell, a longtime community member of the Symphonic Band, said he loved seeing an ensemble back on campus and playing music together again on the beautiful stage.

“The group really gelled together and their sound resonated even with the few players in the group,” Jewell said.

After a brief intermission, the choir students took the stage.

The Chorale’s opener, Sing, O Sing a Jubilant Song, was accompanied by the Adrian Chamber of Brass. 

The title fit the tone and overall feel of the peace. The choir and band blended very well.

 There were a few mistakes from the lead trumpet, but it didn’t pull down the entire group.

They recovered quickly as they moved through the rest of the set.

After the Chamber Brass left the stage, the choir continued with The Awakening, which included uplifting and encouraging stanzas about music and its continuation during the pandemic. 

Then, Sing Gently sectioned out the different pitches in overlapping melodies and pulled the harmonies out of the woodwork. 

Lacrymosa, a well known Mozart piece that had me roped in from the start.

The final two pieces were also dedicated to Langmeyer. 

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes sent chills down my back. The sopranos held high tunes that sent vibrations that rang through the entire

MCCC Agora Chorale Conductor Catherine Brodie bows after the first performance on campus.

auditorium and beyond. 

The closer, titled Hosanna to the King, was an ending that most definitely deserved a standing ovation or an encore of some sort.

“I am so incredibly proud of this choir,” Brodie said.

MCCC’s first concert back on campus was able to happen but not without some stipulations. 

The 22 students in the choir had to wear masks and socially distance which made some sounds harder to grasp for the audience but not at the choir’s fault.

“Even though we have to wear masks and distance, being here this evening is a small miracle for us,” Brodie said. “It just seems like it’s been forever.” 

Watch out for more live events upcoming at MCCC.