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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Life + Arts

University Choruses strike chords

Contemporary, classical and jazz came together Tuesday night at the Moore’s School of Music Opera House.

The University Men’s and Women’s Choruses were featured in the concert “Songs of Love and Passion,” along with special appearances by several music groups.

“The groups are independent from the University, but we come together sometimes to do concerts,” said Men of Moores group member Princeton Miles.

The concert featured a variety of musical genres, ranging from ’80s soft rock and dance pop to classical pieces.

A duet-rendition of the Jordin Sparks song “One Step At a Time” by Megan Wilhelm and Maria Aleman of the group AcaBellas sped up the tempo before moving on to the Irish folk song “The Parting Glass.” The group performs acappella arrangements of the pop genre.

The University Women’s Chorus showed its versatility with romantic pieces by composer and pianist Johannes Brahms before ending with jazz legend Duke Ellington’s 1943 hit, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”

The Chorus, lead by conductor Besty Cook Weber, showed an exhilarating demonstration of talent.

Men’s acappella group “Bob’s Your Uncle” group member Edward Uzowulu came out and sang a soft solo version of “Africa” by rock band Toto. Bass singer Taylor Henderson got a loud round of applause with his solo of Mike Posner’s “Please Don’t Go.”

The subtle dance moves brought the audience to a light laughter before giving up a loud applause. Henderson gave a great performance that seemed effortless and inspiring.

The group focuses on genres such as pop and barbershop, and sounded like a throwback to the days of doo-wop.

The different varieties of music made for great energy on and off the stage.

To start the last session of the concert, the men’s chorus showed its school pride by marching on stage and singing the University of Houston fight song. The audience quickly joined in and threw up their cougar paws and sang along loud and proud.

Men’s chorus conductor Kelly J. Turner commanded the session with a riveting version of the Stephen Foster song “Gentle Annie.” The song is based on an Irish melody.

The most energetic set of the night was the Men of Moores rendition of “Grenade” by Bruno Mars. Matt Mazzola performed the solo while the group did the background vocals and dance. The contemporary college A Cappella was made up of students from Concert Chorale and the University Men’s Chorus.

Andrea Sanchez of the women’s chorus performed a flawless flute solo to “The Shepherd To His Love” by Lou Williams-Wimberly.

Sanchez created a somber atmosphere with the colorful sounds of her instrument.

From the standing ovation, the crowd seemed to be impressed with the performer’s effort and professionalism.

After a night of jaw-dropping performances, who can blame them.

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