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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
Century Singers Concert

Against the backdrop of stained glass and a church organ, the Women’s Chorus and Century singers shared music filled with tradition, religion and popular themes.

University choruses performed at the Fall Festival of Music Concert on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. in A&M United Methodist Church. The first half of the concert was sung by the Women’s Chorus, and the Century Singers took the stage after a fifteen-minute intermission.

The Women’s Chorus began the concert with an arrangement of “The Spirit of Aggieland” to which the audience stood. Among the program were spirituals, classical, folk and pop songs of diverse backgrounds and eras that choir director Travis Angel chose.

“I like to select a variety of music,” Angel said. “I listen to a lot of YouTube and read lots of choir programs from all over the world. We’re going to sing a piece from the Philippines and someone said, ‘How did you find a piece from the Philippines?’ and I said, ‘Well, YouTube.’”

Among the songs the Women’s Chorus performed was “Give Me Jesus,” an arrangement of an African-American spiritual as a prayer. Angel said although there are no African-American women in the Women’s Chorus, the chorus is able to interpret songs by discussing meaning and significance.

“I like the spirituals, I think they’re a piece of Americana that the rest of the world doesn’t have,” Angel said. “Now, it comes from a terrible time in our history… we talk about it. We talk about what the songs mean.”

Before intermission Century Sound, a smaller group composed of Century Singers, sang songs by Stevie Wonder and American indie pop band FUN. Wildlife and fisheries science senior Abigail Holmes said she came to the concert to see a friend perform with both the Century Singers and Century Sound.

“She just sang, and I was mostly excited to hear her solo in the FUN song,” Holmes said. “That’s the one I really wanted to hear, but I haven’t heard any of the other ones so overall I’m excited.”

The Century Singers’ performance came with a similarly varied program with members showcasing various percussive effects and a song that included kazoos.

Management senior Ricky Dillard Jr performed a solo during “Rock-a My Soul,” a traditional spiritual. Dillard said he was impressed with the Century Singer’s performance and enjoyed being able to use his faith as inspiration for the solo.

“That song is basically telling Jesus we need you at all times,” Dillard said. “I am a Christian. From a personal standpoint, and really getting to know [Jesus] those words mean a lot to me.”

The final songs in the Women’s Chorus and Century Singers programs, “I Believe/Ave Maria” and “Old Irish Blessing” respectively, came with an invitation to former members of each group to take the stage and sing with old colleagues and friends. Holly Hague, Class of 2017, said it was different to come as a past member of the Women’s Chorus.

“It’s definitely a very strange experience,” Hague said. “Being out in the audience for the first time is definitely very interesting; getting to actually hear the group. But I always enjoy singing up there, it’s cool getting to sing with girls who are new to the group.”

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