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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Moore

UAFS Choir and Wind Ensemble Take Stage to Perform Poulenc Masterwork

Tuesday November 7th the UAFS Leonis Chamber Singers took the stage to perform the masterwork Gloria by Francis Poulenc along with the Wind Ensemble led by ensemble director Dr Alexandra Zacherella and choir director Dr Timothy Workman. When asked about the process of preparing the music, and the performance itself Dr Workman says “It is always a wonderful thing for students to collaborate with a variety of musicians. The performance of Gloria by Poulenc brought together not only student musicians from multiple disciplines, but professional musicians from the surrounding community.”

The concert began with a short showcase from each ensemble, the Wind Ensemble opened the concert with an upbeat set featuring interesting and strong percussion. After a short break the choir started their set with Alleluia by Jacob Narverud and ended it with a moving performance of i thank you God for most this amazing day by composer Eric Whitacre.

Following a short intermission the ensemble and choir joined together performing the title event of the evening Gloria by Francis Poulenc featuring soprano soloist Lindsay Burnett. A piece including six movements each one communicating different stories and emotions, all of them being in Latin. Beginning with the title piece and first movement, Gloria, which sets the tone for the entire piece, gives the audience a feel for Poulenc and his musical style. Into the second movement the tempo increases and the tone of the piece moves into something more cheerful and lighthearted, the fastest of the movements. The chorus echoes each other over and over again expressing the same playful sentiment repeatedly throughout the piece with short interjections. The third movement, titled Domine Deus, is the first to feature the soprano soloist. It opens with a dramatic solo line followed by a strong woodwind introduction offsetting the tone of the previous movement. The fourth movement, Domine Fili Unigenite, is the shortest of the work and is almost as jocund as the second movement but features richer and darker tones from the chorus. The mood shifts in the fifth movement, Domine Deus Agnus Dei, into something darker and more mysterious. It seems as if the chorus echoes the soloist following her lead throughout the piece. The final movement of the work opens with a strong a capella chorus, and is almost jarring in comparison to the fifth movement. There is a culmination near the end of the movement that descends into a long soprano solo echoing sentiments from earlier in the piece. The ending almost catches the listener off guard, as the beginning of the movement is so loud and present, but ends with a simple and quiet ‘amen’ from the chorus which is echoed by the soloist.

After a strong performance from both the ensemble and the choir, the concert was closed out by ‘Hallelujah’ composed by Beethoven. This piece was directed by Dr Workman, and featured Dr Zacharella playing the alto trombone. This was a cheerful and exciting way to close out a wonderful concert.

If you want to watch both ensembles' next performance they will be performing their Christmas concert Seasons Greetings on Tuesday November 27th at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at


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