Choralists meet challenge head-on


Terri-Lynn Frasher/The Chart

Practice session for Carmina Burana

Sydney Shannon, a senior vocal music education major, is excited about her upcoming performance with The Southern Symphonic Chorus. The chorus will present Karl Orff’s Carmina Burana on Sunday, April 13, at 3 p.m., and Shannon says it will be a great experience for the audience.

“It’s very exciting music,” Shannon said. “It’s not boring, put you to sleep operas or arias.”

The main piece for Sunday’s performance, Carmina Burana, is an extensive work with many smaller pieces.

The work will be performed in Latin and Middle-High German, with some French influences, which Shannon said the chorus will perform with a German accent, posing a challenge to even those who have experience singing in Latin.

Before the main presentation of Carmina Burana, the Chamber Choir will perform several pieces to open the concert. Shannon is also a member of the Chamber and says they will perform several spiritual pieces, as well as a piece written for Polish heroes, especially the victims of the Holocaust.

“It focuses on the uncomfortableness of the ugliness of humanity sometimes,” she said. “And the sorrow and sort of things that were inflicted on those people.”

Missouri Southern’s Chamber Choir has 27 members who have been able to go on tour to Kansas City, Wichita, and this past spring break, Chicago, where they performed at elementary and high schools, a university and a local church.

Shannon said the opportunity for the Chamber Choir and Southern Symphonic Chorus to perform classical pieces of music literature is enriching for the community of Joplin.

“I just remember growing up around here and being so interested in music and so hungry for those experiences, and there just really isn’t a lot, and especially not a lot that’s free,” she said. “You have to travel to Tulsa and sometimes to Kansas City to see a lot of these things, and especially to see them done well.”

She also said the chance to couple with community members to bring this kind of work to life has been amazing.

The 40 volunteers who will perform as part of the chorus include alumni and other community members.

Shannon has been involved with the Southern Symphonic Chorus for all three years of its existence. A vocal student since age 11, she hopes to one day be a vocal music teacher. She loves to give one-on-one voice lessons, although she is beginning to get a taste for classroom teaching through an internship.

The performance will be held at the Central Christian Center, 410 S. Virginia Ave in Joplin, and will last approximately two hours. Admission is free.