Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Songs of Winter

The East Stroudsburg University (ESU) Department of Music presented their annual Winter Choral Concert featuring the University A Cappella Ensemble and Concert Choir in The Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall located in The Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of ESU in East Stroudsburg, PA on Wednesday December 9th. Both the ensemble and choir were under the direction of Prof. James Maroney. While the ensemble was composed of students, the choir membership was much more varied as it contained a satisfying mixture of students, teachers, and community members who love to sing. This love shown through in a wonderful evening of song touching the heart in preparation of the holiday season.

The concert began quietly as almost in a whisper with the A Cappella Ensemble’s presentation of Hugo Alfven’s “A Maiden Is In a Ring” to very melodic compositions such as the Spanish Carol entitled, “Riu, riu, chiu” featuring soloist Brian Foley, Paula Dixon, Patrick Mertz, and Laura Wall. Their performance ended with “Hodie Christus nature est” by Francic Poulenc but the sounds of their voices lingered with the audience as it awaited the end of the intermission to listen to the larger concert choir.

The Concert Choir performed a well blended mixture of well loved classical and holiday tunes along with some not as familiar but nonetheless a delight to experience. These songs ranged from the presentation of two movements of W. A. Mozart’s “Requiem” to Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride.” This arousing finale encouraged everyone present to imagine they were in their sleighs speeding around the countryside to visit as many loved ones as they could.

Among those lending their voices to the event included Katie Dembesky, Arline M. Smeltz, Brian Foley, Michael Kessler, Timothy Oesterle, and Christian Porter. Future presentations by The ESU Music Department for the Holiday Season include The Annual Winter Band Concert on Sunday December 13th at 7pm in The Cecilia S. Cohen Recital Hall featuring The University/Community Concert Band and Woodwind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Otis French and The Student Voice Recital on Tuesday December 15th at 7pm featuring the students of Professors Terry L. Flatt and James Maroney. Please Contact The ESU Music Department at 570-422-3483 for more information. You’ll find more photograph in The Forwardian Arts Society Music 2009 Gallery at

The website of East Stroudsburg University is

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