Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Carmina Burana: What a Wonderful Phrase

This Sunday, April 28th, the Frostburg State University Chorale performed the entire contents of Carmina Burana, a very well-known collection of songs and lyrics. The contents of the songs were performed in Latin and German, but the program gave an in-depth translation of each movement. Not only did the Chorale perform, but the Percussion Ensemble and the Cumberland Choral Society collaborated on this piece. Even the FSU's Children's Choir had a small part through the performance. Furthermore, Dr. Karen Soderberg and Judith Brown, conductor for the Cumberland Choral Society, took on the role of Conductors during parts of the performance.

The most intersting part of the performance involved the soloists. The entire Opera had a number of a solo performances. The male tenor was performed by Peter Drackley, a student at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and the male baritone was performed by Eugene Galvin, former FSU alumnus. Both men were excellent, and they had quite a range of sound. The female lead was performed by Mariana Mihai-Zoeter, a faculty member in the Department of Music. The piano pieces were performed by Dr. Jay Dewire and Thomas Hunter, both very skilled players.

For a measly three dollars, students were allowed to appreciate this excellent musical performance. It would be very easy to convince people to attend for even more money, and this was apparent by the sheer number of audience members.  The house was absolutely packed full of students, faculty members, and even members of the Frostburg city community. There were very seats left empty, and everyone seemed to be enthralled by the entire performance. Every piece was filled with energy, meaning, and feeling from the performers. During one piece, Samantha Flowers, Music major and Dance minor, performed a short ballet on the edge of the stage. She wore a very colorful dress, and her dance mirrored the attitude of the music. The performance began and ended with a brilliant performance of “O Fortuna,” and it was clearly a favorite piece for all of the participants in the performance.

Heather Wahl, Music major, said that “being in Carmina Burana was a great experience. So much effort and passion was put into the show that it was hard not to enjoy. It is something that I will never forget.” Alex Jones, a Psychology major in Chorale said that she feels "it's incredibly fun to perform. The carnality of it really resonates with a kind of basic desire and primitveness that people seem to have. It's probably my favorite work." This positive response was felt by the audience members as well. Dominic Rogers, English major, said “It was an awesome show! I have no idea how they’re going to top it next year.” Even those individuals who may not be part of the Music department had an appreciation for the performance.

What was perhaps a more endearing part of the performance was the collection of performers and family members gathered in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center. There were cameras flashing, people hugging and smiling, and performers laughing with their peers after a great performance. The energy and positivity was effusive throughout the room. Even the skeptical members of the audience left with a good feeling. At the end, there was a standing ovation, and people clapped for a good couple of minutes. Frostburg State University should be proud of their Chorale for this excellent display of artistry.

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