Choir Takes West Ranch Back to the Renaissance

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Choir Takes West Ranch Back to the Renaissance

Mary Waugh, Staff Writer

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The lights in the amphitheatre dimmed, the talking quieted and Women’s Choir began their entry onto the stage. One student among the group stepped into the spotlight, took the mic, and said, “Anyone one can sing; you just open your mouth and give shape to a sound.”

On March 9, excited friends and family members filled the West Ranch theatre to watch the Women’s Choir perform. As soon as the choir took their places on the stage, they began their performance. After the opener finished reading a chilling excerpt from the Renaissance, the group, in turn, began to sing it. At one point, the theatre was dead silent, all except the soft humming coming from the singers. While the excerpt carried a serious tone, the song itself was a soft melody that slowly escalated into an upbeat rhythm.

After the second song, the choir instructor, Molly Peters, took the center stage and gave a quick introduction. She gave a warm welcome to the audience and introduced the theme of the night’s show: the Renaissance. This particular showing included Italian melodies and catchy tunes from the times of the Renaissance. Peters explained that she chose this theme to emphasize “the way music can enhance our feelings and how music shapes the experiences in our lives. We can do the one thing that other instruments cannot do: we sing words.” She stepped off the stage and applause erupted from the crowd.

When the applause settled, a smaller group of singers was left on stage, including some of Men’s Choir. They sang a song called “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing,” which carried an upbeat tune and left the crowd with smiles on their faces. The fourth song took the audience back to the Renaissance. The composer was German so some parts were sung in German and others in Latin. Although I couldn’t understand some of the words that they were singing, I couldn’t help but tap my foot to the catchy beat.

The Men’s Choir left the stage while the Women’s Choir remained, and many smiles were seen as the students excitedly waved to their family members in the crowd. The next piece was based off of the Estonian tradition of folk singing. Ms. Peters even took the time to explain the singing revolution that happened there. The Estonians, who had always been under either communist or Nazi rule, finally decided to gain their independence through no violence at all — not one single drop of blood was shed. They merely lined up on the streets and sang their anthem all day and night.

The seventh and final piece from Women’s Choir was called “Sing to Me.” Ms. Peters pointed the mic towards the singers and they unanimously explained what the song was about: hope. While the other songs had uplifting tunes and tribal beats, this song was calming and peaceful. When the last note was sung, the crowd cheered and applauded. It was definitely an experience to see. And while the Renaissance theme was specific to this concert, make sure to go see West Ranch’s Women’s Choir in their next show in May.

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