Calvin Music Festival highlights 11 ensembles
Singing, dancing, playing, rapping — the Calvin Music Festival had it all.
The Covenant Fine Arts Center was filled with music on both Friday and Saturday nights as members of all 11 of Calvin’s musical ensembles came together for one performance.
“It’s great to be part of the bigger Calvin group,” said senior Rebecca Stout. “We showcase everyone together.”
The music department joined the inaugural celebration with the theme of “Together We Celebrate,” focusing on their unique gift of music.
Professor Robert Nordling spoke of building relationships together and the music department’s involvement in the inaugural ceremony. Representatives from each ensemble came together for the piece “Celebration of Praise,” which served as both the processional and recessional at the inaugural event.
The Music Festival also concluded with this piece, as Nordling told the audience it would be performed “for you and with you.” Freshman viola player Ariane Bolt said, “I like this music a lot. It’s epic.” She was excited to be part of what she called “the inauguration party day.”
Junior Capella member Megan Meulink also enjoyed the connection with the events of the inauguration. “This is another way we can celebrate the diversity at Calvin,” she said.
The performers called their concert style a collage, which senior David Groen explained as meaning “a wide variety, no set style, all over the map”
This variety included a traditional South African song by the women’s chorale, a Tschaikovsky piece from the orchestra, and the gospel choir’s own version of “Joyful, Joyful,” from the film “Sister Act II.”
Groen, a member of the gospel choir for the past three years, said “I love to sing in a group this high energy. We sound really good, too.”
Junior Beth Vander Meulen, an audience member at the Music Festival every year since she started at Calvin, noted that energy. “I love how upbeat and into it they are,” she said. She keeps coming back because “they’re so passionate.”
Between musical performances, multiple videos told the story of the music department. One video spoke of Calvin on tour. Members of the music department have traveled to Florida, eastern Europe, and South Africa. Students shared stories of friendship with one another, finding hope in prison courtyards and the woes of forgetting sunscreen.
Sophomore Lyndsay DeGroot explained the wonder of “seeing how big the body of Christ is” through singing in churches in South Africa.
“The memories that you collect from the years are often about touring,” said music professor Joel Navarro.
In another video, professor of music composition David Fuentes talked about the collaboration of media production, graphic arts, and music students to create “A Royal Pain,” an animated film.
“It’s neat because you get this giant collaboration,” said Meulink. “It’s so much more than just the music department.”
Senior Shawn Richardson, a member of the wind ensemble, loves the Calvin Music Festival because it is everyone’s show. “It’s good to be able to hear each other,” he said.