By Anjulie Van Sickle
The Eastfield Chorus has grown from just five or six students a year ago to a group large enough to perform a holiday concert. Its “Winter Wonderland” show is scheduled for Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in F-117.
The performance will benefit the Vocal Music Scholarship fund choir director Melinda Imthurn is organizing. She hopes the scholarship will bring more students to the department.
“[We plan to increase] the number of private lesson students so that people who want to study voice will come here to do it,” she said. “That way, we can make a name for ourselves.”
The concert will include songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “We Need a Little Christmas.”
“[It’s] all pop-oriented,” Imthurn said. “We’ll bring in the sound system, and it will feel like it’s a nighttime cabaret.”
The members of the chorus say their director has been the primary instrument of their success.
“Melinda is doing a fantastic job with this choir,” music/vocal performance major Bradley McDonald said. “She has changed the face of the voice department and what it means to be in a choir. She comes in, has this bright, happy attitude, and everyone feels like a family and feels like friends.”
On Nov. 28, the 16-member group performed its annual recital as a part of the Wednesday Recital Series.
The performance included a variety of arrangements with several soloists and group numbers. The works ranged from “Mona Lisa,” a piece originally sung by Nat King Cole that has an airy, Italian feel, to “Get it Right,” a song of regret and heartache from the television show “Glee.”
One of the group’s soloists not only sings for the chorus, but has also taken the stage at grander venues.
“I’ve performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City with a group called American Youth in Concert,” said Brent Crowder, a UNT student taking private lessons from Imthurn. “This was right after I graduated from high school. We made appearances in London, Paris, Austria, Geneva, Switzerland, Florence and Rome.”
Other members who are just beginning their singing careers have already learned lessons from their choir experience.
“I’ve learned how to be more comfortable in front of people as well as be surer of myself in my singing and [performing],” business major Luke Saroni said.
Imthurn is encouraged by how much the members have improved their vocal and performance skills.
“I think music generally bonds people anyways,” Imthurn said. “It’s just a shared emotional experience.”