On Friday, April 21st at 8 PM, the Swarthmore Chorus and Garnet Singers will showcase a collection of works that, in the words of director Joseph Gregorio, will leave the audience “feeling nourished, recharged, and uplifted.” The concert will be held in Lang Concert Hall and features a range of pieces, including ones arranged and conducted by students.
The Chorus will perform Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in D minor in collaboration with a professional orchestra. Gregorio notes that, “the chorus has actually performed [Requiem] before, but we did it using the department’s chamber organ … for Fauré it wasn’t right but it was the only thing we had available.” Previously, the department used a small, portative organ; however, the Holtkamp organ in the Lang Concert Hall has recently been restored, which Gregorio says will allow the choir to perform the piece “in a way that will better realize the sound that Fauré had in mind.” Meg Ozawa ‘23 shares Gregorio’s thoughts: “It’s so great to do Faure’s Requiem. It's one of my favorite choral pieces of all time. It is also especially cool to play with a professional orchestra and organist, as I've never had that opportunity before. It is a nice way to end senior year with such a beautiful piece of classical music.”
As for the Garnet Singers, Gregorio emphasizes that their repertoire has, “[a] lot of variety … [it is] usually something I try to cultivate in the program … [there is a] wide geographic range.” Aside from classics of voice ensembles like Abendlied by Josef Rheinberger, the Garnet Singers will perform Hawai’i Aloha arranged by Dessa Caguioa ‘24, The Road Not Taken by Randall Thompson, conducted by Jenna Takach ‘24, and Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan arranged by Gregorio.
This spring’s concert will be a meaningful one for Gregorio as he will be stepping down after ten years from his role as director at the end of the semester. “I’ll miss [the Chorus and Garnet Singers] very much,” Gregorio says, “I’ve been privileged to watch both ensembles grow musically and artistically and I’m sure they’re going to keep growing.” He talks about how inspired he is to see them work: “[I] demand a lot of them … They know I ask a lot of them in the name of performing the music as beautifully as we can, communicating as authentically as possible what is behind the music.”
Gregorio’s sentiments are echoed by Eli Dellinger ‘25 and Grady Savage ‘26. Dellinger, a member of the Chorus, says that, “I have only been in the choir for two semesters but in that short amount of time … I have been able to participate in a large range of musical pieces.” Dellinger also notes that, “Gregorio puts a lot of thought into the pieces that he picks for us to perform … to make sure we all get a chance to have fun while performing.” Savage, a member of both the Chorus and Garnet Singers, shares that he, “really likes the range of repertoire … there’s a good breadth of styles and emotions in the pieces.” Savage also finds the smaller size of the Garnet Singers makes him “feel connected to the sound” with the most rewarding experience being “getting to hear everything fall into place … and it just feels right.”
The Chorus and Garnet Singers concert will be held on Friday, April 21st at 8 PM in the Lang Concert Hall. The ensemble hopes you will attend