Brahms, Beethoven and More... A Year in Retrospect

Tonight we closed a most memorable university year with a most memorable concert, performing with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra in Handel's Zadok the Priest, Brahms' Nänie, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. 

Looking back, August 2017 now seems almost another lifetime ago, having fifteen performances since that time, as well as recording a music video, "The Little Drummer Boy," and producing our first compact disk, "I Carry Your Heart With Me."

We began our season with an unforgettable joint concert and cultural exchange with the Philippine Madrigal Singers. That was followed quickly by performances for university presidential inauguration events, a music department All-Steinway Gala, caroling at the downtown Liberty Theatre, university development receptions, and even more combined concerts with Tyler Junior College and Voices of Faith. Along the way there was Patriot Singer flash mob at the University Center during lunch one day, and a performance trip to the College of Music Society conference in Oklahoma. The doors also opened for us to hold our spring concert at the beautiful Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul, a first for the university.

Our repertoire spanned the gamut (a music history word, by the way), from Praetorius to the Pentatonix, from Stravinsky to Shaw, and from Dresprez to Deep River and Desh. Throw in a little Finzi, Bruckner, Lauridsen, Paulus, Victoria, Tavener, Hogan and Hrusovsky-- I think we truly represented the very best from the middle ages to the modern era.

In January, I reassembled the East Texas Symphony Chorus in preparation for our season finale with the ETSO. It has been a great delight working with these seasoned and strong voices from the community these many weeks, and tonight, together with our university choruses and before a sell-out concert hall, all performed together with great musicianship the electrifying shouts of Zadok, the poignant lyricism of Brahms, and the monumental heroics of Beethoven.

Our excellent singers continue to grow here each year, as does our audience. This year set a very high bar for us, but I must say, I am already excited thinking about the potential for next....!