Black tuxedos and black evening gowns emphasized the formal vocal repertoire of the difficult, yet impressively done, music performed at the “Come to the Music” Fall Choir Concert by the T.F. Riggs High School Choral Department on Oct. 18 in the Riggs Theater.
The evening included a formal air with bawdy ballads and patriotic, spiritual and jubilant pieces.
“This first concert of the year invites people to ‘come to the music,’ ‘join in the dance’ and ‘rejoice,’” Director Rodd Bauck said. “It is a celebration of music in song that speaks of the joy, power and beauty of music. There is sacred music, folk songs, spirituals and contemporary music for all.”
Bauck added that the concert was not live-streamed and that he was happy that this year could return to more normalcy.
He said that his students wanted to come here and make beautiful music. He added the students are the reason he has a job that he loves.
Unlike some other vocal groups, these performers memorized their pieces. Hand-held music folders didn’t divide a singer’s attention from Bauck’s directing.
And many students performed in more than one choir during the evening.
The ninth- and 10th-grade girls forming the Treble Choir opened the concert with “Let Beauty Awake” and completed a five-song section.
The All-state Choir, which required auditions to join, filled the theater with “I Hear America Singing,” a mix of patriotic and spiritual sounds.
The Chamber Choir, another audition-required group, performed four a cappella songs, including “Sinner Man.” The singers depended on each other with no accompaniment to seamlessly make the chords and rhythm join together.
And the Concert Choir opened with its joyful rendition of the concert’s namesake, “Come to the Music.”
The first concert of the school year was a good one for senior Cole Peterson, especially since it was his last “first one” of his high school years. And he said it was enjoyable and filled with good song choices.
“We all loved the songs,” Peterson said. “We had to drop a few songs, but the ones we had were very good. We are always looking to improve, always looking to be better.”
Lincoln Mefferd said that he and his fellow seniors are looking out for the younger vocal members.
“There were definitely a lot of new people this time. We were able to put it all together and make it work. Listening to the songs, you get a wide variety of what we are capable of,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the new challenges — of the classic Christmas music to get stuck in my head.”
Senior Jackson Overweg was also impressed with the concert and anticipated plenty of good songs performed this year.
“Hopefully, we are going to have some real ‘banger’ concerts this year,” he said. “We are only going to get better. There is one piece we are going to have to get to work on — an insane Latin piece.”
Accompanist and senior Karen Lindbloom found that many musicians often go under the radar and don’t receive the same attention as athletes. She also found no shortage of teamwork among the musicians as they work together to create music.
Senior Conner Bruce said the concert was one of their best, especially considering the challenging songs they performed.
“I love the variety,” he said. “Everything had a different rhythm and tempo. I can’t wait to see how everyone improves. This year is definitely going to take some breath out of us, with how much we are going to have to work.”