The Delta State University Chamber Singers performed at the 2020 Music by Women Festival held at the Mississippi University for Women in Columbus on March 5, 2020.
The fourth annual, three-day, national conference of music for all instruments and ensembles offered 13 concert sessions as well as lectures and presentations by female composers from all over the country. Dr. Julia Thorn, director of Choral Activities at Delta State University, was asked to select choral works to perform from the 12 that were submitted for possible inclusion in the conference. The Chamber Singers from DSU were invited to premiere for the conference two pieces written for small choir: “Remember” by Jennifer Bellor from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and “Songs of the Seasons” by Mary Lou Prince.
“Remember” sets the Christina Rossetti poem of the same name to challenging music incorporating mixed chorus; soloists Kaitlyn Pignataro, soprano, Amber Browning, alto, JaMaureus Freeman, tenor, and Elijah Davison, bass; and Andrew Wasylina, piano. “This piece presented difficult rhythmic and pitch challenges for the students in addition to a wide color palette for emotional contrasts. It was a satisfying learning experience for the musicians and will be included on the final choral concert of the year at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on April 20, 2020, 7:30 PM,” said their conductor, Thorn.
“Songs of the Seasons” is written as a group of four short pieces, that effectively convey a portrait of their titles: “Song of Spring,” “Desert Rain,” “Harvest Song,” and “We Came to See the Sun.” “Technically much easier to learn, the students did an exceptional job of conveying to the ear of the listener the musical elements and text painting that brought those seasons to life,” said Thorn.