Coming back to the stage

Makayla Geddes

This year’s Annual Fall Choirfest at Weber State University’s Allred Theatre exhibited a large offering of different musical styles and disciplines. Songs varied from madrigals to showtunes to jazz classics. The performance featured the WSU concert, chamber and vocal jazz choirs, the WSU Opera Company and the WSU Chamber Ensemble.

The Bells of Rhymney performed by WSU concert Choir directed by Dr. Mark Henderson. Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost
"The Bells of Rhymney" was performed by the WSU Concert Choir and was directed by Mark Henderson. (Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost) Photo credit: Lisa Rajigah

There was no chosen theme, but COVID-19’s influence was felt and referenced throughout the evening.

“Any time is a good time for a COVID story,” Mark Henderson, director of the concert and chamber choirs, remarked to a laughing audience.

Henderson took a minute to explain to the audience that due to a COVID case in the printing office, the regular programs were in quarantine, so the new programs had to be printed small on printer paper.

Karen Bruestle, director of the WSU Opera Company, said the selection of lighthearted showtunes was a hopeful reminder of how things can be as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to subside.

WSU Concert choir performs The Lord is My Shepherd with the WSU chamber Orchestra directed by Dr. Mark Henderson. Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost
The WSU Concert Choir performs "The Lord is My Shepherd" with the WSU Chamber Orchestra, directed by Mark Henderson. (Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost) Photo credit: Lisa Rajigah

“It’s such a treat to be performing again,” Bruestle said.

The students had been preparing for this concert since the beginning of September.

Alyssa Hunter, a sophomore in the concert choir, said her favorite part of performing was hearing all of the music in the big hall and receiving an immediate response from the audience.

“It felt awesome to be back on stage, like a breath of fresh air to be back and in front of people,” Hunter said.

McKenna Parsons of the concert choir said virtual choirs just aren’t the same as performing in person.

Many a New Day from Oklahoma performed by Kiersten Langford (second from the left) and The WSU Women's Opera Chorus. Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost
The WSU Women's Opera Chorus performed "Many a New Day" from "Oklahoma." (Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost) Photo credit: Lisa Rajigah

“The atmosphere is really unique on a stage, and you don’t really get that anywhere else,” Parsons said.

Audience members Brian and Nadine Christensen had only glowing remarks about the Fall Choirfest performances, commenting on the good variety and how well-prepared the students were.

“They really nailed their parts,” Brian Christensen said. “I could see the enthusiasm from the students, especially on that last piece — they really enjoy what they’re doing, and it’s infectious.”

WSU Vocal Jazz performs Blue Skys  with Rhythm section Tucker Inglefield Guitar, Ian Nicholson Bass and Adielle Steele Drums. Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost
WSU Vocal Jazz performs "Blue Skies" with Tucker Inglefield on guitar, Ian Nicholson on bass and Adielle Steele on drums. (Lisa Rajigah/The Signpost) Photo credit: Lisa Rajigah