Gregorian chants began to envelope the audience even though the stage was empty in Dart Auditorium Nov. 29. Suddenly, the LCC concert choir, directed by Professor Bierbaum, emerged from the shadows and launched into an eclectic mix of holiday songs.
This was only a foretaste of what was to come during the free performance to welcome the Lansing community into the holiday season.
In addition to traditional Christmas carols, the concert choir performed Hanukkah tune (“Mi Y’maleil?”), Japanese winter song (“Three Snow Haiku”) and a Spanish Christmas song (“Tres Villancicos de la Navidad.”)
The LCC vocal jazz and pop ensemble, directed by adjunct faculty Kelly Stuible, even joined the concert choir on stage for “Mary’s Little Boy” to rousing applause from the audience.
“Traditionally, a fall concert heading down to this time of year tends to focus mostly on music of the season,” said Bierbaum, who started conducting and teaching at LCC this semester. “We had both Christmas music and songs from different traditions as well.”
Next, the vocal jazz and pop ensemble took to center stage and greeted the audience with a lively mix of holiday songs and jazz favorites including “Time After Time” and “Smile.”
The piano, bass and drums cast a spell over the audience with “That Old Black Magic,” featuring soloists Ciera Moore and Steffan Kachinsky.
Both ensembles invited the audience to sing along to Christmas carols such as “Wassail Song” and “Jingle Bells” as the performance wrapped up.
“I thought there were quite a few people here,” Bierbaum said. “They all seemed to enjoy themselves and, boy, did they sing well!”
LCC student Katy Ramos, who has performed in the pop and jazz ensemble for the past three years, said the performance was a lot of fun.
“It’s not like anything else,” Ramos said.
“You can go on stage and you can show off and be someone different. You can put what you have out there and everyone can finally see what you’ve worked so hard for over the semester.”
Bierbaum said, “Music is more than just pretty and pleasant sounds. It needs to reach out and touch something inside so that we can connect with it. It allows us to express emotions that we can’t express just through words.”