Rowan Women’s and Men’s Choirs perform and compete vocally

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Tuesday night, the women’s and men’s choirs put on a show in Pfleeger Hall that had the audience laughing and clapping along with the performers throughout the concert.

The performance opened with the women’s choir playing a seven piece program. Of their songs, the most serious was “Don’t Go from ‘Ecstatic Songs’” by David Brunner, according to Dr. Christpher B. Thomas, the director of choral activities at Rowan and the conductor of the women’s choir.

The song began with soloist Molly McDonald, a sophomore music education major, as a few of the other women’s choir members joined in with her to the beat of the drum, played by percussionist Garrett Davis.

The last song of the women’s part of the concert “The Caffeine Overload Polka” by Eric Lane Barnes. The women danced in unison to the fast-paced song as the audience laughed and clapped. The performance was in reaction to the men’s tradition of playing a funny song at the end of their concert.

Maddi Schille, a sophomore music education voice major and member of the women’s choir, talked about the friendly rivalry between the two vocal groups.

“Traditionally, the men’s choir always performs something funny at the end of their show and the women’s choir never has,” Schille said.  “Our new director has been trying to see if we can beat them, but I’ll admit it we definitely did not.”

After intermission, the men’s choir came onstage wearing suits that, little did the audience know, would not be their only attire of the night.

The men played a set of songs that represented music from all over the world. They included African American, Cuban, Swahili and Irish spiritual and folk songs into the concert.

“Hakuna Mungu” by William McKee was the first of three songs that were not sung in English, but had translations in the pamphlet provided at the door of the concert.

The men ended with the familiar pop rock band’s song “Good Life” by OneRepublic, sung by soloists Matthew Adams and Matthew Maiolo. The audience sung along with the men and started clapping to the beat as the rest of the men’s choir swayed in the stands.

This was was not the end for the men, though, as half the choir ran to the back of the stage while the other half sang “I Want to be a Producer” from the motion picture soundtrack of the movie “The Producers.”

Suddenly the rest of the men’s choir reappeared clad in their suit jackets and camouflage tights, singing the opening number “Men in Tights” from the  1993 musical-comedy “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” The theater exploded with laughter as the men danced in their tight leggings to the song.

Paige Ward, freshman vocal music education major and member of the women’s choir, opened up about her favorite part of the night after the show.

“[It was] definitely when the men’s choir came out in camo tights,” Ward said. “That was amazing.”

The men’s and women’s choirs performed a broad spectrum of music ranging between traditional and more recent songs. Thomas described the concert as having no theme, however, it was unifying in both its variety of music and the friendly competition between the two choirs.

“The men’s and women’s choir concert has become one of my favorites because the crowd really gets into it,” Thomas said. “It’s like a sports rivalry between the two choirs.”

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