By Melissa Ponton
Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
This past week the Post Music Department welcomed a brand new ensemble to its’ extensive repertoire, an all Women’s Choir. Led by Dr. Jennifer Scott Miceli this is the first Women’s Choir that Post has been known to have. But what exactly is a Women’s Choir? “It is the coming together of women singers of all ages to nurture and support one another through music,” describes Miceli, “[The] Women’s Choir will grow the musicianship of each of its’ members and provide an opportunity for expression through song.”
Last spring Dr. Mark Shapiro, the director of Choral Activities, approached Miceli about the creation of the new ensemble due to the recent recruitment of women singers. It seemed like an obvious way to showcase these women’s talents and allow other students, regardless of major, to partake in the team building and creative experience.
Miceli serves as the conductor for the ensemble, and is assisted by graduate student and choir member Courtney Sack, additionally Christine Doré serves as the accompanist. However, teaching the music is a joint effort that all three take part in.
Sixteen women attended the first rehearsal, and the group is now up to 21 members. The group currently hosts two alumni, six non- music majors, 10 undergraduate music majors, and three graduate music majors. The choir is organized into soprano I, soprano II, alto I, and alto II in order to be capable of singing challenging, multi-part repertoire.
“[The] Women’s Choir will be performing a variety of music including contemporary, classical, a capella, jazz, pop, and more” mentions Miceli. This fall the group will be performing Randall Thompson’s Alleluia, Charles Baker’s arrangement of Three Hanukkah Songs, Karen Beth’s arrangement of Touching, Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down by Caldwell and Ivory, and Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools as tribute to the late, great singer.
“I love the fresh sound this ensemble has. It is a group of 21 women who have never concertized together, and we are just loving every second of making music and finding our sound!” exclaims Sack, “I would love for this group to become a staple at LIU. I am graduating in May, so it would nice to come back and see the progress and amazing music this group will be making in the future! I am also excited to get to conduct these wonderful women in performance this semester!”
According to Miceli the group has already demonstrated tremendous potential and she has a particular interest in providing the members leadership roles within the choir. “Music students, and in particular music education students, are encouraged to direct choral warm-up exercises in each rehearsal,” she said.
Miceli finds the conducting process to be “fun, rigorous, expressive, terrifying, and so very gratifying.”
With performances already on the horizon, the Women’s Choir is ready to display its’ talents and high performance calibre. They will be performing with the Long Island Sound Vocal Jazz in the new Krasnoff Theatre (previously Hillwood Concert Hall) on Saturday, November 17th at 8 p.m. In addition, the group will collaborate with the Huntington Choral Society at Huntington High School on Saturday, December 8th at 8 p.m.
Miceli and Sack are elated by the potential and positive response the group has had. “I am so happy with all the buzz this choir is receiving. I am so glad so many women saw our flyers and wanted to join us in song!” Sack commented. “I was extremely impressed by all of the women who came out. We had several non-music majors, and they are very musical, and just love to sing!”
Students interested in joining the Women’s Choir have until the end of the Add/Drop period (Sept. 18) to join. Rehearsals are every Wednesday from 5-7:30 p.m. in the Music Rehearsal Building. If unable to join this semester individuals are more than welcome to contact Miceli and Sack about joining in the spring semester. Contact them at Jennifer.Miceli@liu. edu and Courtney.Sack@my.liu.edu.