Marshall University’s School of Music presented its Marshall Chorus and campus a capella group, 3rd Avenue, Thursday, Nov. 9. The event showcased pieces in the “Songs of Love and Light” concert in Marshall University’s Smith Recital Hall.
“The overall message of the concert was to promote encouragement and positivity through songs of love and light, as well the exploration into the struggles and challenges in finding the voice to do so,” Briana Nannen, Marshall’s chorus director, said.
The concert focused on songs that encompassed love, light and the difficulties many face throughout different circumstances of their lives.
“Grief is regrettably one of the few areas of life that unifies everyone,” Nannen said. “Whether our experience was or will be the result of death and unexpected illness, a broken marriage or other personal difficulties, it is next to impossible to live this life without experiencing loss of some kind. Although loss is difficult, it allows us to see the world in a whole different way, a better way.”
The concert not only featured musical pieces from 3rd Avenue, but it also had collaboration pieces with Cabell Midland High School’s student singing group, Collegium Musicum, led by Ed Harkless and special guest Brandon Chandler.
The Collegium Musicum is a Renaissance-style costumed ensemble of Cabell Midland High School students ranging from freshmen to seniors. They travel each spring and perform more than 40 programs for the public and student body throughout each school year. The Collegium Musicum collaborated with Marshall’s Chorus to perform the first two pieces of the concert, “Sing We and Chant It” and “I Love, Alas, I Love Thee.”
Chandler, a vocalist and performer from Peoria, Illinois, drove seven hours to perform in the “Songs of Love and Light” event.
“I began singing at age 2 and fell in love with it,” Chandler said. “I started doing theater around town, performing in anything I could, I knew this was my passion from the very beginning.”
He was in musical theater professionally for five years and all the while kept in touch with Nannen, his former high school teacher.
Chandler was cast as “Radames” in Bailiwick Chicago’s production AIDA, in which he received the award for BTAA’s Best Leading Actor and was featured in the Chicago Tribune’s Top 10 Hot New Faces of Chicago Theatre. After his move to NYC, he was cast as the Cowardly Lion in the American Family Theatre’s national touring production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
“It was an honor to be able to attend this concert at Marshall University where I could share my story and passion for singing with everyone,” Chandler said.
Chelsey Stanley can be contacted at Stanley137@marshall.edu.
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