Choral ensembles combine for concert at Martin Hall


Dr. Jerome Bierschenk prepares last minute details before the show. Photo by Carsen Cunningham

Three Texas Wesleyan student choral ensembles joined forces Tuesday night to present a concert in Nicholas Martin Hall.  

The Women’s Chorus, accompanied by Aimee Hurst Bozarth on piano, and the Men’s Chorus, accompanied by Keith Critcher on various instruments, performed separately and then combined as the Chamber Singers to play songs from the choral repertory. 

Dr. Jerome Bierschenk, department chair, said the participating students are studying private conducting and learning how to conduct. 

“I have had the privilege of being the director and conductor of these students since 2007.” 

The concert began with the Women’s Chorus, conducted by Allison Ward, singing songs including, “Non nobis domine” by composer William Byrd, “The March of the Women” by composer Ethel Smyth, and “The Water of Tyne” by composer Michael Neaum, according to the concert program.  

The chorus was then joined by harpist Megan Li, who performed the choral hymns “Hymn to the Dawn” by composer Gustav Holst and “This Little Babe” by composer Benjamin Britten, according to the program.  

Adjunct instructor and chorus conductor Allison Ward said some of the students will be traveling to London this summer. 

“This summer we are ‘hopping across the pond’ so to speak, and we are going to be studying some music, art and culture of the United Kingdom,” Ward said, “so this semester the Women’s Chorus studied all British composer literature in preparation for this trip.” 

The Men’s Chorus, conducted by Bierschenk, began with singing “It Was a Lover and His Lass,” accompanied by Critcher playing the harpsichord and Karen Hall playing the cello.  

Senior student conductor David Walter conducting Anthony Bernarducci’s “They Remain” accompanied by Jamie Ford playing the oboe.  

“Today is my birthday and I am so honored to be spending my evening conducting in this concert,” Walter said.  

Tyler Simpson, another senior student conductor, conducted “Dust in the Wind” by composer Kerry Livgren. Simpson was accompanied by adjunct violin instructor Andrea Tullis and Hall.  

The choruses joined and, as the Wesleyan Chamber Singers, with Bierschenk again conducting, performed multiple pieces accompied by Tullis and harpist Megan Li.  

Near the end of the concert, student conductor Daniel Hernandez, soloist Mary Grim, and Chris Culross playing the recorder came together to perform Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” 

The concert ended with both choruses singing composer Paul Aitken’s “Let Us Have Peace” with accompanied by Tullis, Bozarth, and Hall.  

Senior student conductor David Walter leads the Men’s Chorus.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Keith Critcher plays the harpsichord on Tuesday night.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Allison Ward (far right) discusses the students’  upcoming trip abroad to London.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Allison Ward (center, hands up) leads the Women’s Chorus in the opening song.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Senior student conductor Tyler Simpson said he was excited to conduct a song in the concert.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Adjunct voice, conducting, choir instructor and Women’s Chorus conductor Allison Ward poses before the concert began.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
The Men’s Chorus waits for the concert to begin.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Karen Hall tunes her cello before the concert.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Harpist Megan Li prepares for the concert; she participated in multiple songs throughout the evening.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham
Dr. Jerome Bierschenk prepares last minute details before the show.
Photo by Carsen Cunningham