The Northwestern College Heritage Singers and Jazz Band are holding an evening concert on Saturday, Nov. 11. The concert will begin with the Heritage Singers, followed by the Jazz Band.
This concert will be the Heritage Singers’ second and final performance of the semester. Throughout the rest of the year, they hold concerts and tours across Iowa, the country and sometimes overseas.
The Heritage Singers’ section of the concert features the theme “Words, Rhythm and Nonsense.” Thomas Holm, professor of Music at NW, directs the Heritage Singers.
Holm said, “The pieces are a lot of fun, some emphasizing animal sounds or traits, others just nonsense, some weighty feelings.”
Holm provided the lyrics from one song as an example. “The text of one piece reads: ‘I don’t mind eels, except as meals, and the way they feels. Eew, eew, yuck’,” Holm said.
During the concert, the Heritage Singers will perform a song called “Mouth Music.”
“This is actually an Irish dance song,” Holm said of the piece. “[It has] a few words but mostly a long string of very fast nonsense syllables.”
The concert will also feature the song ‘Fog,’ a sound-cloud piece composed by Phyllis Zimmerman.
“The composer [of ‘Fog’] has combined biting dissonance clashes with a soprano solo with loud, slow whispers to create an eerie atmosphere of deep fog at the edge of a large body of water,” Holm said.
Out of the whole show, Holm’s favorite piece is, ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing’.
“Honestly, I never program a piece that I don’t like a lot,” Holm said. “But the outstanding Swedish vocal jazz group The Real Group wrote this highly virtuosic setting of Duke Ellingston’s ‘It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing’.”
Considering this piece, Holm said, “This is an exciting and demanding piece that I think has stretched the choir a lot through the learning process and is going to be a lot of fun to hear in performance.”
Holm made Heritage Singers’ musical selections for a number of reasons. “First, [they are] all of high quality; second, [there is] a nice variety for the singers and audiences; third, they collectively present a solid educational journey for the singers; fourth, I do like all these pieces,” Holm said.
Following the Heritage Singers is a performance from NW’s Jazz Band under the direction of Dr. Angela Holt, assistant professor of music at NW. The Jazz Band will perform a variety of songs, including “Apple Honey” by Woody Herman and “Moonlight Serenade” by Glenn Miller.
Holm extends an invitation for all to attend the concert. “Come see and hear your peers perform some really interesting, varied and fun music,” Holm said.
The concert is at 7:30p.m. on Saturday in Christ Chapel and is free and open to the public.