Sunday,December 2, WTAMU held its much anticipated Christmas concert, with university choirs and orchestra, the Clovis High School Chamber Singers, and ample audience participation. Needless to say, the stage was as crowded as the seated audience.
The program began with a mass harp prelude – well, there were four, but that’s a 300% increase from the number I’ve ever seen in this ranchy part of the world. Then Dr. Michael Johnson added an organ touch,which can sound like any variety of instrumentation, but did help set the mood.
The University Chorale, directed by Dr. Sean Pullen, performed numbers by Vaclav Nehlybel and Gabriel Faure, in French and without sheet music!
The most impressive piece by the Symphony Orchestra, directed by Dr. Mark Bartley, was “Romanze” by Max Bruch with Vesselin Todorov of the faculty and Harrington String Quartet as the viola soloist. This is the second Bruch I’ve heard locally in as many months.
Perhaps a Bruch Renaissance is gaining purchase here on the High Plains!
A mass choir and orchestra number was a selection from Mendelsohn.s “Elijah,” to which the young voices from Clovis High School gave their full throated participation, on equal footing with the voice majors. One imagines that after this experience a number of Wildcats will opt for college enrollment across the state line.
This concert, staged with class and quality, epitomizes the unsurpassed excellence of the WTAMU Fine Arts program, arguably the nation’s finest in D-II regional universities. Its existence is a reason we can say: “Keep Amarillo Artsy! Keep Austin Weird! Keep Lubbock in the Rear View Mirror!!!!!