Sing, Sing, Sing!

Nora Shychuk

Photo by Grace Singer

One would not think that so much talent could fit into one room. A trio of talent-filled institutions of higher learning converged to enthusiastically dispatch that notion.

Chorus groups from Florida State College at Jacksonville, the University of North Florida, and Jacksonville University performed at Terry Concert Hall the Intercollegiate Choral Concert Friday, October 7, at 7:30 p.m.

FSCJ opened the show, the women’s chorus going first. “I Know Where I’m Going” told the story of a woman who falls in love with a man, but he soon falls ill from black lung disease. This song was extremely tender and beautiful with a lot of emotion and captured the tragic sentiments of the song.

The men’s chorus was up next and offered a more upbeat selection, the comedic “The Miller of Dee.” This song about a man who would rather work than be with his wife got a lot of laughs from the audience. It helped that the range of the men’s chorus was amazing, too.

“My Spirit Sang All Day,” “If Music Be the Food of Love” and “I’m Goin’ to Sing” concluded Florida State College at Jacksonville’s segment, bringing together the women’s and men’s chorus. “I’m Goin’ to Sing” stole this part of the show. It was quick, fluid and toe-tapping.

The songs performed by UNF were a bit more modern than FSCJ’s, offering some variety to the show.

Smokey Robinson’s “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” sung by the women’s group, opened this portion of the show. They snapped their fingers and swayed, clearly having fun with the song. It definitely set the tone for UNF.

“Cells Plants” and “Spheres” were the most eclectic and different pieces of the night, but arguably some of the best, too. These songs were not only interesting and pretty, but also offered some great solos from the students on stage.

UNF finished strong with a song called “Dubula,” an African song. Possibly the most memorable piece of the night, “Dubula” was surprising and energizing. The whole chorus danced, stomped and clapped, adding some great rhythm to an already well-executed performance.

Lauren Tandy, a senior at Jacksonville University, was blown away by “Dubula.”

“That song was amazing. I loved the African style. You could tell UNF enjoyed performing it, just like the audience enjoyed hearing it,” she said.

Jacksonville University performed last. The songs selected by JU were a bit more traditional, adding a nice contrast to UNF’s portion of the show and making the concert as a whole very stylized and well-rounded.

The women’s chorus performed a Japanese Folksong entitled “Hotaru Koi,” which had an impressive echoing technique. The chorus was soft but animated, and this was one of the more catchy tunes of the show.

The male chorus performed two songs, “Gaudeamus Igitur” and “Down in the Valley.” The former was an Old University Song, which provided a nice mood for the show’s finale, paying homage to all universities. The vocal talent of these young men only enhanced the experience.

“It’s great to see the talent we have here at JU,” said Tandy. “You see these guys walk around campus, but have no idea they can sing like this!”

“Down to the River to Pray” served as encore as all three universities came together onstage, demonstrating a strong sense of craft and unity between the schools. The universities easily blended their talents together for one last hurrah.

I cannot recommend a better concert. It provided a chance for anyone to see not just the talent and flair at JU and neighboring schools, but also the hard work, dedication and practice that goes into such a dynamic production. All of the universities that participated offered something original, different and extraordinary.