Apr 27, 2010

Glorias and Arias: The Chamber Singers

by Camille Smith

 

The 24 voices of the Chamber Singers filled the Old Pate Chapel Tuesday evening and captivated listeners as they performed their spring concert. Harmonies flowed in and around melodies, sopranos fluttered high above altos, tenors and basses and notes were held, belted and finished with such precision, the small chapel remained silent for seconds after each piece before the crowd erupted into applause.

The concert was the last performance of the 2009-2010 Chamber Singers, and for some, their last concert ever at Liberty University.  Joel Taylor, a graduating senior, finished the concert in high spirits.

“Tonight had a real sense of finality,” Taylor said. “I did get a little emotional at the beginning.”

 Taylor has performed with Chamber singers all four years of his college career and attributes the majority of the life lessons he learned to the experience.

“I think that Chamber Singers has been the core of my music major here,” Taylor said. “My biggest vocal challenge was to relax, I tend to get so excited by the music, I’ve learned a lot from Dr. K.”

The group’s director, Dr. Wayne Kompelien, or to some Dr. K, auditions students who wish to be a part of the chamber singers at the beginning of each year. He then hand picks the students he believes will fit best in the group.

“We have such a quality group,” Komeplien said. “We were recognized as one of the best choirs in the state, for an undergraduate choir. I’d put them against anybody in a competition situation.”

Kompelien also recognizes the unity of the group and believes that it has made a difference in not only how the students communicate outside of class, but how they sing together as well.

“We had 14 new members this year and they all gelled together so quickly in terms of unity of the group,” Kompelien said. “I feel like when that happens, students start to sing together better.” 

Taylor also spoke of the unity among the members of the small group.  He took advantage of the closeness within the group and used it as an opportunity to share some upper-classman wisdom with some of the students coming into the program.

“We are so close as a family, most of us are music majors and so this is a community that I have grown with,” Taylor said. “I like to be a leader, an example and an encouragement to the freshman coming in. I think that discipleship is really important for any musical group.”

Freshman Jessica Moutoux seized the chance to learn from her peers and her director during her first year with the group. While she plans to audition for the group again next year, having the opportunity to sing with them as a freshman has provided her with invaluable experiences.

“This has been such a blessing in my life,” Moutoux said. “Everyone in the choir has been in it for awhile or has a lot of experience with this type of group and coming in my freshman year has been so awesome and absolutely incredible. I couldn’t have asked for a better year.”

Like both Taylor and Kompelien, Moutoux believed the unity of the group to be the driving force behind their success as musicians. She saw their dedication to each other as beneficial to their personal lives as well.

“We have a great sense of unity, a sense of oneness in the spirit,” Moutoux said. “It is a relief sometimes to look up and see that these awesome, amazing and talented musicians think like me and they make me feel not so alone as my own random self.”

The team tours each year for a week reaching into parts of Virginia and North Carolina.  Kompelien has come to look forward to the positive responses he receives when touring with the group, and speaks highly of the students he brings along. 

“What really makes this group special is 24 people serving the Lord through making beautiful and quality music that has a lot of substance to it,” Kompelien said. “The Lord really uses our ministry in a mighty way.”

 

Contact Camille Smith at

cjsmith3@liberty.edu.  


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