The choirs from Lubbock Christian University and Wayland Baptist University came together to host the 5th Combined Choir Concert, accompanied by members of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.
The first performance took place at LCU on Friday, April 7, and the second was at WBU on the following evening. The program featured Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, as well as two works by Ola Gjeilo—Dark Night of the Soul and Luminous Night of the Soul. The concerts were supported in part by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts and through a grant from the City of Lubbock.
The performance at LCU featured soloists from the LCU choir, including Alyssa Willis and Lexi Willis. Elizabeth Thompson sang the solo parts at the WBU performance.
“Performing the entire concert as a combined chorus with orchestra, singing with another university with the same Christ-centered mission in the education of students, and performing works that all referred to the light of Christ were all very significant factors that made for an amazing evening of brilliant works that were performed on a very high level,” said Dr. Phillip Camp, professor of music and director of choral activities at LCU.
“It was a remarkable experience that became a career highlight for me, and I believe, a lifetime-performance experience for each of the students. “
Past concerts in the series, beginning in 2008, have included performances of Handel’s Coronation Anthems, the Lubbock debut of Te Deum by Mark Hayes, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Mozart’s Solemn Vespers. These collaborative performances were established to give students experience in performing major choral works with accompanying orchestra, while also enhancing the artistic climate of the South Plains community.
Despite the distinguished history of this concert series, this year’s concert was particularly special for the directors. Dr. Camp and Dr. Steven Weber, now in his first year as the director of choirs at WBU, met 27 years ago in graduate school at Arizona State University and have remained friends throughout their careers.
“That was incredibly special,” remarked Camp, “that we have been friends all this time and then got to collaborate together [for this concert].”
Camp also emphasized the importance of this series to the music programs of each school.
“Performing major works with orchestra is an important experience for any choir, especially for those seeking careers as choral music educators,” he explained. “The diversity of artistry through the various textures and colors that can be achieved in such works can be appreciated more fully by audiences listening to a live performance and especially by the performers themselves.”
While there are no immediate plans for the next concert in the series, Camp expects to continue the series at least every other year as has been the tradition since 2008.