Hill College choir, band to perform virtual concert Nov. 12

  Jessyca Brown
  Friday, November 6, 2020 3:50 PM
  Performing Arts

Hillsboro, TX

HILLSBORO,TX—The Hill College Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble, directed by Steve Hart, and the Hill Choir, directed by Dr. Caleb Chang, are performing in a Virtual Fall Season Concert Nov. 12 at 7:30 pm.

The performance is being streamed online due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and will be available for viewing through Nov. 14. The concert is free and will be available online at https://www.showtix4u.com/events/hillcollege.

Featuring audio and visual components of pre-recorded music, both directors promise viewers still have much to look forward to despite the concert being shared virtually.

“Viewers can expect as close to a live performance as we can give,” said Hart of the band and jazz ensemble performance. “The jazz solos are improvised and none of the sound recordings have been retouched or edited in any way.”

The band’s portion of the performance includes the music of Karl King, Stephen Sondheim and Sammy Nestico, which was pre-recorded in an empty auditorium.

“Video recording before an empty auditorium was a new thing for most of the students,” Hart said. “In live performances, the band draws excitement from the audience, which in turn gives immediate feedback to what they’re experiencing. However, the students have done a great job of adapting to the situation, and any opportunity to play and perform is great.”

The choir, which Chang is calling the Hill Virtual Choir this semester, is singing a diverse collection of songs including Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus, an arrangement of composer Ennio Morriconne’s Nella Fantasia, composer Fernando J. Obradors’ El Vito, and lyricist Frederic Weatherly’s Danny Boy. Hill College music instructor Larry McCord accompanies the choir on piano during the performance.

Chang will play the bongo drum during El Vito, and the choir will sing each song in its native language.

 “We have the English translation of each song, but I prefer for us to sing them in their native language,” he said. “In this performance, viewers will hear us sing in English, Spanish, Latin and Italian. Our pronunciations are not perfect, but the students have done an excellent job learning and performing them all.”

For the choir’s portion of the performance, Chang individually recorded each of the 10 members singing each song in person and digitally pieced the videos together so viewers will see all of the singers on one screen.

Although the pandemic has changed the way music groups perform and rehearse, Chang said it has its perks.

“By sharing our performances virtually, people can enjoy them from anywhere in the world,” he said. “My parents will be watching from South Korea.”

Students interested in singing with the Hill Virtual Choir in the future can contact Chang at cchang@hillcollege.edu.

The entire concert will last about 50 minutes. For additional information about the event, please contact Dr. Brad Bolick, Hill College Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts, at bbolick@hillcollege.edu or 254-659-7882. For future Hill College events, visit https://www.hillcollege.edu/CampusLife/PerformingArts/PAEvents.html.