Part of the tradition around Seton Hill University (SHU) is the music department’s fall Sing and Ring. Featuring SHU’s finest performers, this event showcases many ensembles.
Held on Sunday, Sing and Ring was a packed house as families and friends of the performers filled the seats. “There’s always a lovely turnout,” said conductor and associate professor of music, Marvin Huls.
As of late, the concerts only feature the university choir, women’s chorale, chamber choir and handbell ensemble on the concert.
The handbell ensemble kicked off the concert with a mix of new and old. A favorite among performers and listeners alike was their rendition of “Clocks” by Coldplay. With 11 members total, the ensemble included a few seniors and even a few first-time handbell performers. They were received well by audiences.
The chamber choir proceeded with a collection of classics. “I know it’s a bit early for this piece, but you never know with this weather anymore,” said Huls on their performance of “Snowflakes” by Seth Houston.
Relatively new to the scene is the women’s chorale. Highlighting some of the finest female voices, this ensemble also helps host a Women’s Choral Festival later this fall. Concluding their performance was the fast-paced “Eve’s Confession,” a modern twist on the story of Adam and Eve.
With 118 voices involved in the university choir, they completed the afternoon with powerful pieces. Perhaps the most moving piece of the afternoon was their performance of “Uniamo In Amore” by Kevin Memley. Soloists Cameron Pampus, Sarah Noone and Steve Bumbarger provided a personal connection to the touching melody.
This is the third school year in which the SHU Performing Arts Center (SHUPAC) has been open. “We will host once again the District One Honors Choir and the Women’s Choral Festival, and in February will host the Pennsylvania Collegiate Choral Festival which will involve over 100 singers from colleges and universities across the state,” said Huls on wanting to really establish the SHUPAC among other colleges and surrounding areas.
“I believe the current faculty and students find great enjoyment in making music together in SHUPAC,” Huls said. They hope to spread that enjoyment to fellow peers, family and friends.
The idea for the annual concerts held in both the fall and spring came about with the formation of the handbell choir roughly 12 years ago. With the combined efforts of the Westmoreland Children’s Chorus, conducted by Shirley Huls, the new handbell ensemble was able bring in a collective audience.