Soprano Paula Newberry was a highlight of the LeMoyne-Owen Concert Choir’s annual fall concert Nov. 5 with her performance of “Caro Nome.” Her strong, clear vocals brought cheers and applause from the audience.
“Paula Newberry is an incredible talent, and that was hands down her best performance,” said Laurence Albert, director of the Concert Choir. “I have watched her grow and she is really getting a handle on her vocal technique.”
Also during the concert, held at Second Congregationa United Church of Christ, the choir performed “Heleluyan!” a song from the Five Civilized Tribes in history.
“I discovered that piece at my church, Idewild Presbyterian Church, where I am a soloist,” Albert said. “John Peterson, our pianist at the church, found that piece and brought it to our class. We practiced that piece three times before we performed it. The history behind it is the Creek Mesquite Indian tribe converting into Christianity and the African American is a part of that music piece. Our staff is trying to get urban students, especially our music students, to learn the history behind the music,” he also said.
Another highlight of the concert was baritone Lee Johnson, who performed “How Lovely is the Hand of God” by Raymond Loughborough. Other soloists included Katrina Anderson and Sylvia Askew. Albert said all of the students have promising and pleasant voices. “The soloists who performed are going places,” he continued.
“One of the things we do is vocal technique. We work on diction, interpretation, and how to make it more appealing to the listener, and we strive for a professional sound,” Albert said. “I thought the choir did very well; they did a program of almost all new music. As always there is room for improvement, but I thought they did an excellent job.”