Winter has seemingly come early here at West Chester, with the first recorded snowfall of the season in November. The music department has embraced this winter, bringing the joy of the holiday season to campus with its nonstop fervent caroling and seasonal music. On Dec. 1, there were performances from the university’s percussion ensemble, baroque orchestra, and the Criterions jazz ensemble.
The highlight of the night, however, must have been Men’s Choir joining with Cantari Donne to give an enthralling performance of Ralph Vaughn Williams’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols.” Dr. David P. Devenney conducted this group of more than 100 students with senior voice major Dominick Matsko as the featured baritone soloist.
As a freshman, and also as a new member of the WCU Men’s Choir, I felt like we had a fantastic performance. I was able to connect with the spirit of the holidays through singing its music, as the piece itself ventures through a wide array of emotions, from dark to joyous.
In the many rehearsals leading up to the performance, Dr. Devenney has stressed that this concert is the biggest one of the year; it is played on local television stations and has a higher student turnout than any other performance. He specifically said that once students get into the holiday mood, they turn to the West Chester music program to hear their favorite carols live.
Overall, it was a terrific night. The music program at West Chester features hundreds of industrious students dedicated to their craft and is worth checking out.
Jeffrey Holmes is a first-year student at West Chester. He can be reached at JH791223@wcupa.edu.