Ohio State Choirs Collaborate to Make Music Accessible to Campus Community

The Ohio State Women’s Glee Club after completing a recent rehearsal just before Halloween. Credit: Courtesy of Jordan Saul

For those looking for an alternative to their daily musical rotation, Ohio State Choirs are teaming up to provide a free music experience.

The college choir and the Women’s Glee Club will team up to host a Sunday concert at North Broadway United Methodist Church, said Robert J. Ward, associate professor of music and director of the choral activities department. He said this particular performance is the second joint choral concert of the season and will allow both vocal ensembles to demonstrate their dedication and skill through impressive song lists, all in an accessible venue.

The University Choir for those with a deep appreciation for singing but not a lot of free time, Ward said. The choir is open to all Ohio State students, faculty, and staff, and rehearsals run from 5:20 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. two days a week, according to their website.

“At the University Choir, we do our best to take the campus philosophy of diversity, equity and inclusion to heart,” said Ward.

This versatility in background and level of experience is made possible by focusing on musical literacy and musicianship, said Maria Trusty, a fourth year English and soprano section conductor.

“I would describe the atmosphere as wonderful and productive,” Trusty said. “My favorite part is the rehearsal because we’re having so much fun. We want to help each other improve, regardless of your starting level. “

Oral skills, hearing intervals, reading rhythms, and understanding the differences between major and minor chords are just a few of the concepts studied during rehearsals, Ward said. The choir seeks to privilege progress to perfection.

“These students are singing for all the right reasons,” Ward said. “Some of them have hearts bigger than their throats, and when they walk into the room, they check their egos at the door.”

For the next concert, the university choir plans to sing in English, Latin, Hebrew and Spanish, Ward said.

The Women’s Glee Club is an educational ensemble and student organization committed to creating a community of talented women who support each other in all endeavors, said Leah Mattas, a fourth year in marketing and club president.

Jordan Saul, associate professor for choral music education and director of the Women’s Glee Club, said this concert is an opportunity for the 64-person society to recognize the global pandemic without dwell on it and includes a specially arranged piece for the choir by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson.

“We begin by describing death in the divine sense, in the visceral sense, and the expansive loneliness that accompanies loss,” Saul said. “After Death, we have a set of plays that deal with the birth and renewal of life that begins with the wonder and mystery of a tiny infant. Our last set is to recognize the difficulties in our life right now. “

Just as singers tackle outdoor projects while participating in the ensemble, potential audiences can still indulge in live choral music while balancing their own busy lives, Mattas said.

“Supporting music in general is an enrichment in your life,” said Mattas. “Every artist, every choir, every band, every orchestra, they all have their own message through their music, and the message and the story behind the music is why you should be there.”

The concert will be held Sunday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the North Broadway United Methodist Church, located at 48 E. North Broadway St. Masks will be required for performers and attendees. You will find more information about this concert and other events on the website of the School of Music event page.

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