Minot Chamber Chorale presents ‘I Will Go On’

MINOT, N.D. – The Minot Chamber Chorale, along with Minot State University Choirs, will present a virtual performance “I Will Go On” on Oct. 18 at 3 p.m.

The event features text by Mia Wiese, a high school student at Des Lacs-Burlington and is set to music by the Chamber Chorale Artistic Director and Minot State Director of Choirs Emerson Eads. Wiese was the winner of the Chorale’s “Life & Love in the Time of COVID-19” poetry contest held this past summer. The virtual concert celebrates the resilience of the greater Minot community. The premiere will be livestreamed on FACEBOOK.

“The season started off with us having an emergency board meeting about how we would proceed,” Eads said. “We felt we should take this year slowly. Our first concert is usually a pop concert so we decided to produce a virtual choir video to feature Mia Wiese’s poem.”

While the goal seemed straight forward, arranging and performing an original number, all from individual homes, isn’t simple. Even rudimentary protocols, like what to wear, needed to be discussed and finalized. For this event, the choir will forgo its normal black tuxes and gowns for more personal attire.

“Doing something like this in a virtual setting isn’t probably as hard as some will make it out to be, but it isn’t comfortable,” Eads said. “There is such diversity in the video. The whole point was to show the resilience of the community at this time, of college kids at this time, so we told them to be themselves and wear what they want to wear.

“Choir is normally a group in front of an auditorium. No one joins choir to sing in a virtual setting and individually it sometimes seems like it isn’t good enough. But when you assemble it, it comes together. This really brings out the individuality of each singer, and with the addition of photos from the members about their community, it highlights the beauty and character of this locale in a way that I think people will be blown away by it.”

MSU student and Minot State Choirs member Joanna Miller echoed both Eads’s trepidation in performing individually as opposed to the normal group setting and shared his enthusiasm for the final product.

“First, I never wanted to participate in it. Virtual choir is incredibly challenging,” she said. “There is a level of nuance that you do not think about when you're performing live. It also removes one of the best things about choir, which is singing and experiencing the music together with your colleagues and audience members. Making music is not the same, and a virtual choir was a harsh reminder that it's not going to be the same for a while.

“However, we're all affected by this in various ways and it is the music, art, movies, books, etc., that have helped us all get through. Despite my initial misgivings about the process, I really do hope that this virtual choir video could be used to brighten our community a bit.”

While Eads is excited about the musical performance, he was moved by Wiese’s poetry.

“At first, Mia didn’t want to write the poem, but a friend, Isabella Anderson, helped push her,” he said. “When we interviewed them for the video and she heard the music, she told me she didn’t know the poem could be like that, she didn’t know how it could be like that with music. High school kids were some of the most affected by COVID-19 early on, having so many events stripped away. Hearing her talk about loneliness and pain, but also about resiliency and being inspired by the love of family and the support of friends, brought a local connection to what everyone was going though nationwide.”

The video will feature soloist Jazmine Schultz, along with Jon Rumney, violin; Briana Schwan, piano; and Rita Sundahl, organ; virtual production by Laura Sam; along with numerous faculty members who are members of the Minot Chamber Chorale and students from the Minot State University Choirs.

Along with music, the video will feature interviews with Wiese and members of the Minot Chamber Chorale, along with photography and memorabilia from each member collected in the greater Northwest North Dakota region. For more information on the virtual concert and future events hosted by the Minot Chamber Chorale, see Minotchamberchorale.org.

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 10/14/20   

» More MSU News