Contemplations & Reflections (with Toni Matulis)
Maroon & Gold
Bloomsburg State College (PA) - October 28, 1966
"Pops" Concert Proves a Huge Success; Soloist the Highpoint of the Evening
Last Sunday night it was quite balmy after a rather long siege of unseasonably cold weather; in fact, one might have called it a "beauteous evening." Due to the lack of cold air, however, sounds did not travel quite as well outside as they might have had the previous weather prevailed--they did travel well, though, inside Carver Hall from 8:30 onward. Official Close
The occasion was the official closing of Homecoming Weekend with a "Pops" Concert by the BSC Concert Choir, under the able direction of Mr. William Decker.
In the last several years, under Mr. Decker's tutelage, the Concert Choir (as well as the Madrigals, the Glee Club, etc.) has come quite a way along the musical roadways, and has expanded the scope of its presentations tremendously. The concert last Sunday (the first of a series of three this year) was another big step in the right direction.
The high points of the concert were solos from West Side Story. Sue Harper and Chris Shaar teamed up for an extremely successful rendition of "A Boy Like That," combining dramatic presentation with vocal arrangement that made the stage of Carver, for those few minutes, take on the aspects of a scene from Bernstein's West Side.
Tenor Ralph Miller sang “Maria” from the same epic and, as usual, one can’t say much more than that—a very well executed piece.
Mr. Decker’s Style
But, as usual, one of the most euphoric elements of the entire presentation was Mr. Decker himself. His informal, often humorous handling of the pause between numbers and the introduction of the numbers themselves lends greatly to bringing the audience and the performers closer together by a show of informality that allows one to relax in his seat and really enjoy the presentation. His appearance undergoes a metamorphosis, though, the moment the number is to begin. One can see him pause, his hands resting upon the accompanist’s piano as though exchanging some feeling of what is to come with it; seeing that the choir is as they should be, his hands and face become alive, guiding, pulling forth from them note after note, in that secret combination that makes for a successful presentation. More?—More!
The concert was aptly called a “Pops” Concert, for with the informal atmosphere (both through the informal dress of the choir and Mr. Decker’s wisely-used humor) the ever-popular selection of songs, and the superb presentation of same, the series can help but become a “popular” concert.