A Capitol event for College choirs, orchestra

Thursday, November 29, 2007


This will be the eighth year for Corban musicians to perform in the Rotunda of the Salem Capitol building at Christmastime.

Monday, December 3, at noon, choir and chamber orchestra members will delight Capitol listeners with Vivaldi’s Gloria, the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah, In the First Light, and, of course, Christmas carols.

“Holidays in the Northwest” is the theme for the array of musical performances scheduled in the Rotunda this December.  Corban joins a full docket of music groups, mostly from the Salem area and ranging from elementary schools to professional ensembles. Performances last a half hour, an hour, or longer each week day from mid-morning until mid-afternoon.  Corban’s full program of music will last an hour and a half.

“Everyone looks forward to them coming,” said Joan Walker, ten-year employee with Visitor Services at the Capitol, about Corban’s music department.  “We have people who call in, wondering when Corban is scheduled!  They get quite an audience.  They’re a great group.”

For the first time an orchestra made up entirely of Corban students will accompany the choir. Other years, outside musicians were needed to complete the group.  “This year, our own students  are good enough,” said Matt Strauser, director of choral activities. Tatiana Miller-Youst, violin performance major, is one of them. She played her violin at the Capitol years ago. Now, anticipating the event with Corban, she said, “I'm really excited about the acoustics! It's so ‘echo-y’ and the sound just rings. Also, I just love playing and hopefully helping others to appreciate the music the best I can!”

This will be senior Michelle Howden’s final concert at the Capitol as a student.  Not new to the experience, she began singing there as a third-grader living in Dallas, Oregon. “I enjoy it more as a college student,” Howden related, “because I realize what an incredible opportunity it is. Last year we sang Handel’s Messiah, [and in doing so] we got to sing God’s Word in our state capitol where all these decisions are being made for our state! With the great sound, it echoes all through that building and travels through the halls…  It always gives me goose bumps.”

Years ago, Strauser set a goal. He said that it was important, especially for the choirs, to minister outside the college community. Singing God’s Word at the Capitol, as Howden indicated, has a far-reaching impact.

For a complete listing of choirs appearing at the Capitol during December, visit http://www.leg.state.or.us/capinfo/2007%20Choir%20Performance%20list%20.pdf

  • Corban College Choir prepares for performance in the Rotunda, December 2006.

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