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Bishop Miege Press

The Student News Site of Bishop Miege

Bishop Miege Press

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Bishop Miege Press

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Crescendos of Christmas Carols: Choir embodies the holiday spirit at Crown Center

Conducting+Canture+Deum%2C+choir+director+Robin+Christie+counts+each+beat+for++junior+Cate+Coble+and+senior+Megan+Mayer+to+clap+in+unison+for+their+piece%2C+Children+Go+Where+I+Send+Thee.+
Evie McBride
Conducting Canture Deum, choir director Robin Christie counts each beat for junior Cate Coble and senior Megan Mayer to clap in unison for their piece, “Children Go Where I Send Thee.”

As Christmas hymns of praise crescendoed throughout the atmosphere, junior Isabelle Craig intertwined her faith into Cantare Deum’s performance at Crown Center on Nov. 28 with vocal embellishments to highlight the theme to audience members and parents. 

With music as a constant source of self-expression, Craig particularly enjoyed the musical composition “The Hands That First Held Mary’s Child” by Thomas Troeger and Dan Forrest, as it offers the birth of Jesus from Joseph’s perspective. 

“I love the part where the altos split on the word, ‘Emanuel,’,” Craig said. “We add a depth with our lower part and it adds a nice dynamic.” 

The choir department consists of Novum Cantores, Saveum Cantores and Canture Deum. This annual Miege-only event made Cantare Deum’s appearance more than a performance for choir secretary senior Alexander Smith as it stands as a pivotal memory throughout his musical career. 

It’s very bittersweet if I’m being honest,” Smith said. “Because we do this every year, it makes you feel more at home or in a community, but also you’re realizing we’re seniors.” 

“You get to reflect on the past four years and it’s a blessing,”

— Alexander Smith

“The goal with any area of the performing arts, especially choir, is to connect with your audience,” Smith said. “These songs are about God and Jesus, most of all the overwhelming feeling of gratefulness. We want the audience to feel grateful for Christmas and the seasons of life.” 

 
Despite Smith’s ending participation in the Crown Center Christmas concert, he utilized the moment to acknowledge his contributions and memories within the music department. 

“You get to reflect on the past four years, and it’s like a blessing,” Smith said. “There’s just so much love on the team. My favorite song was ‘Children Go Where I Send Thee’ because it’s simplistic but has a lot of musicality behind it.” 

Saveum Cantores encompasses an all-female sound, which motivated sophomore Nora Butler to rehearse each piece with facial elements since it showcased her growth as both a singer and performer. 

“I think my choir really knows what we’re doing,” Butler said. “We’ve worked extremely hard and sound good. I love ‘Little Drummer Boy’ because everyone knows it. It’s such a fun song.” 

Although freshman Addy Balino recalled performance anxiety, the piano’s opening notes carried a lasting sense of confidence, which allowed her to remain present in each composition. 

“I was nervous but excited to share my talents with everyone,” Balino said. “I really like the melody of our piece ‘Sleigh Bells’ and the rhythm. The harmonies are amazing too.” 

As the youngest sibling, Balino once observed this choral tradition with a familial lens but now holds her own personal accounts of what it means to stand on the stage at Crown Center. 

“I’ve always watched my brother and my older sister when she was in choir,” Balino said. “This was really cool to be a part of.” 

Smith’s initiative for the night was to encapsulate the stories each song represented while embracing his key message of the focus and essence of Christmas.

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About the Contributors
Sally Panis, Print Editor in Chief
Evie McBride, Staff Writer
Megan Mayer, Staff Writer

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