Choir makes big screen debut
As the Houston Texans prepared for Sunday afternoon’s football game at Reliant Stadium, the UH men’s choir, ManCorps, stood just a few feet from them, waiting to perform the national anthem.
“It can be kind of frightening to think about singing for 70,000, but I know I can trust the men of ManCorps,” said music education freshman and tenor singer Matthew Lydick.
The singers were in for a surprise, for they shared the field with former President George H. W. Bush and defensive end J. J. Watt.
“It was only slightly unsettling to see George Bush a few yards from you just moments before you sing the national anthem. In walking off the field, I was so overwhelmed and happy that I didn’t notice J.J. Watt attempting to fist-bump me,” Lydick said.
ManCorps, which consists of 18 members and director Jeb Mueller, who is a Moores School of Music assistant professor, was created this semester as a new auditioned men’s chorus and includes both music and non-music majors. The group performs at concerts and events on campus and in the community.
“We’ve had a great time making music together,” Mueller said. “The students work very hard, and that allows us to accept opportunities like the Texans game. It’s an honor to represent UH.”
Music education and composition senior Kody Pisney, who sings bass and baritone with the choirs at the Moores School of Music, felt proud to perform the national anthem.
“I saw the players hyping themselves up when we were walking onto the field,” Pisney said. “There was a large number of people in the stands when we were walking in. It felt good knowing that we would be able to make music for those people.”
When baritone singer and media production junior Fajar Hassan first heard the news that ManCorps would perform the national anthem at the game, he wasn’t sure how to react.
“At first, I just sat there dumbfounded in my chair. ‘What’ was all I could say, really,” Hassan said. “After a couple of days, I looked back at the email and had a completely different reaction. By this, I mean I immediately went on Facebook and Twitter to tell all my friends about it.”
Hassan, who was itching to find people to sing with, said he feels proud to be a part of ManCorps.
“ManCorps is by no means average,” Hassan said. “We are strong and proud of our voices, and we will sing to our heart’s content. We are also more or less eccentric.” [email protected]