Kianna Garmanian, Staff Writer
On Oct. 21 and Oct. 22, St. Martin’s University Chorale partnered with William Campbell, Ph.D., professor of music and chair of the music department at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa to present the beautiful Sacred Music Concert. For years, this event has been hosted in the Abbey Church and is open to the public.
The Sacred Music Concert incorporates a variety of musical styles and arts–sacred music, contemporary, gospel, poetry, and readings. The diversity of song structures, texts, and reflective music all wonderfully complement one another. The music department and Campus Ministry at St. Martin’s collaborated to put on this concert, which brought together students, faculty, professors, monks, and the general public.
Darrell Born, Chair of the fine arts department and music, began the concert by explaining how the event would be centered around prayer, since in today’s world we all search for moments of peace in our lives. His hope was that this concert would provide those moments of sacred space, stillness, and opportunities to connect with the Lord through prayer.
The concert opened with prayer, followed by various musical pieces, and then incorporated a poem and scripture reading, finally concluding with more music. Campbell worked with St. Martin’s Chorale for two of the pieces, and even performed an original composition on the piano, entitled “Finding Peace.” Campbell stated, “They’re all amazing- Darrell and the students. I talked with them about a few pieces and they did a great job with them. They are just wonderful people and very welcoming!”
Three students performed solo pieces, one being junior Tyler Williams, who sung “How Long Wilt Thou Forget Me” by Oley Speaks. As a music major, Williams commented, “Performing in the Abbey is the best I have ever heard this choir sound- we were all in sync and had a home field advantage!”
Similarly, freshman Sara Zepeda expressed her happiness with their performance, and said, “It took a lot of work and preparation, but was also really fun. Choir was the first thing I branched out in and got involved with at St. Martin’s.” She also notes how many positive comments the public gave her and her peers, and was glad to warm the hearts of many.
With a great turnout on both days, Born was very pleased and exclaimed, “I am so thrilled at the students and all their hard work- we made true music artistry!” He also noted how great a privilege it was to work with Campbell, as he provided special insight about the music as a composer himself.
The vibrant smiles on the faces of all who attended the concert confirmed the talent and hard work of the St. Martin’s Chorale. In this year of Community at St. Martin’s, the Sacred Music Concert served as a beautiful space for individuals to come together, pray, and find peace within their hearts. Both the music department and Campus Ministry joined together to put on a phenomenal event that will surely be remembered.