Preview of Vandy’s Voices
Prospective Blair students and Melodores fans alike, this is for you! Choral Prism is a night filled with choral music and a cappella groups singing for a good two hours. This year, Harmonic Notion and the award-winning Melodores performed for a cappella groups (sadly, the Melodores couldn’t sing their rendition of “Take Me to Church” since the lead singer had a flu while on stage). Three choirs performed: Vandy’s Concert Choir, the oldest student organization on campus; Symphonic Choir, Blair’s main vocal ensemble, and Core Choir, Blair’s elite vocal ensemble.
It’s a great way for students to listen to great music (for free, I might add, which is a rarity when the Melodores perform) and for Blair prospies to survey the vocal department. Granted, I’m no music student, but since voice majors need one year of ensemble, might as well see what you’re dealing with, right?
Each group had their own styles they showed off. During dress rehearsals, I thought that the Symphonic and Core choirs, the former of which is required for voice majors, mainly had a classical repertoire since they sang Haydn’s “The Heavens are Telling” as their first rehearsal piece. As the Core Choir kept rehearsing, however, I was surprised by their complete variety. They sang Haydn, contemporary a cappella, and even Bollywood (with Vandy’s premier Indian dance team, Bhangradores, as their back-up dancers). I could tell that each singer was very vocally strong.
Of course, since Symphonic and Core Choirs deal with voice majors, the challenge of blending might be raised. The thing is, even though many soloists perform in those choirs, they blend very well. Normally vibrato is discouraged in a choir, since it jeopardizes the unity and blend of the choir, but for them, it works. Everyone is an experienced singer, yet their blend remains intact.
The speaker during Prism and the director of the Blair choirs (Symphonic and Core), Dr. Biddlecombe, is a fantastic guy. I only had the pleasure of him briefly coaching the Concert Choir for a few minutes, but I could tell he’s an amazing teacher — funny, down-to-earth, and knows how to make you sound better.
All I could say is, if you’re looking for a place to sing here, you won’t have any trouble at all.