Members of the Concordia Chamber Choir meet with director Dr. Kurt von Kampen to practice for their Christmas concert. Photo by Kim Sleeper.
by Bethany Schilling
Concordia’s Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra are two select groups that are small in number but still strive for musical excellence.
Chamber Choir, directed by Dr. Kurt von Kampen, is a 13-voice ensemble consisting of members from Concordia’s A Cappella Choir. Students meet twice a week to rehearse genres from Christian hymns to vocal jazz repertoire.
One of the unique aspects of being in such a small group is the ability of the singers to communicate through visual cues, body language and breathing, which are skills that allow them to be in sync when making music.
“Both choirs are a tremendous amount of fun,” said sophomore and returning member of both A Cappella and Chamber Choir Vanessa Marsh, “I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to make music alongside such wonderful peers and mentors.”
Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Professor David von Kampen, is another auditioned ensemble that fosters the talents of students who play wind, brass, string and percussion instruments. Its 12 musicians meet twice a week: once as a whole orchestra and then later in sectionals divided by instrument part.
“We are just small enough to know everyone in the group and have a good time,” freshman violinist Stephanie Barry said. “But just big enough to make a great sound.”
The Orchestra rehearses a mix of modern and sacred music, but focuses primarily on classical pieces. Instrumentalists dedicated to the group devote time outside of rehearsal to practice their parts so that they can come together to make blended and powerful music.