Oklahoma Christian student musicians prepare to conclude spring semester with concerts

The orchestra prepares to end their semester in tune. Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.

The orchestra prepares to end their semester in tune. Photo by Allyson Hazelrigg.

As the school year comes to a close, Oklahoma Christian University’s music department prepares to showcase its final concerts of the semester.

During the upcoming weeks, the symphonic band, jazz band, chorale and university singers will participate in their end-of-the-year musical performances.

Choir Director Kyle Pullen said putting together these final concerts can be a challenge at times, but it ultimately results in a fulfilling experience.

“Doing something that at first seems a very monumental task, to get some difficult music together and get everybody sounding uniform — it’s difficult,” Pullen said. “But the challenge in it is what I enjoy. The music has its challenges, and every different piece of music has different challenges. To get through those rehearsals and difficulties and moments of frustrations, when you look back on it, you have this good feeling of accomplishment.”

Pullen said the artistic expression of the performances make the long hours of preparation especially worth it.

“It brings it a greater inspiration to the expression when you’ve gone through the struggle to get there,” Pullen said. “I just don’t think there’s anything that means more to me than the combination of going through all those rehearsals, and at the end there’s this great expression of art that transcends what you can say with mere words.”

Jordan Madison, who has participated in choir since his freshman year, said what he enjoys about singing in concert is the sound of the whole choir blending as one.

“The choir comes together with all their different singing parts,” Madison said. “My favorite thing about performing is singing really interesting music as a group. You could be singing something that’s different to the person standing next to you. But together, it sounds really cool.”

According to Madison, the choir has worked hard, rehearsing and refining its craft so it will be ready to provide an entertaining performance.

“We’ve been practicing the music we’re going to sing in the show for a couple months now,” Madison said. “At the end of the year, everything’s coming together: finals, lots of things to turn in, and then having to rehearse and practice for the concerts — takes time. So we’ve just been making sure to go over the music, checking over every little thing, so we get it right.”

According to the director of the jazz band, Heath Jones, the music department was able to get a featured musician to play in concert with Oklahoma Christian students.

“We actually have a saxophone player from Prince’s band,” Jones said. “I went to high school with him and ever since Prince died, his schedule’s opened up. We were able to get him to be our guest artist, and when we have our concert with symphonic band and jazz band, he’ll be our soloist with jazz band.”

Jones said for one of the last performances of the school year, he picked a song for the band to play that he felt would have significant meaning.

“For the associates dinner, since we’re playing for a lot of the main donors of OC, I picked ‘America the Beautiful,’” Jones said. “One thing I kind of wanted to portray with the new president and everything, is the whole message of ‘In God We Trust.’ People are kind of feeling uneasy in America right now, so that’s kind of my message through playing patriotic songs. As a musician and entertainer, I felt like that was important.”

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