In April 2010, the Patrick Henry College Chorale embarked on an extended tour of Europe, traveling to Munich, Germany, Salzburg and Vienna, Austria, and Venice, Italy. The Chorale performed at churches, universities, and at a number of historic cathedrals, including The Church of San Rocco in Venice, Italy.
The Patrick Henry College Chorale is a mixed-voice ensemble that serves and enriches the campus community with concert performances, campus events, and presentations that also foster friendship with the greater Northern Virginia community.
The Chorale collaborates whenever possible with other music programs in the region. Each year, the Music Department hosts music festivals and shared concerts, inviting schools along the Eastern seaboard to visit and perform at our campus. The Chorale often combines with the Chamber Orchestra for joint performances.
Under the direction of Mr. Rod Appleton, Chorale has grown from a student organization with volunteer directors to an official course offering and touring ensemble. The ensemble has a substantial and growing repertoire ranging from arrangements of medieval chants to Baroque masterpieces to modern settings of folk tunes and spirituals. Through these shared offerings, experiences, and love of music, Chorale has become a musical family for the many students who have participated in it.
Interested students may audition at the beginning of the fall semester. Chorale auditions may also be performed at the beginning of the spring semester in conjunction with an audition for the J.S. Bach Musical Leadership Scholarship. The purpose of the audition is to become familiar with a singer’s abilities, musical background, and potential placement within the ensemble.
Participation in the ensemble includes four hours of rehearsal per week, participation at performances, and sharing in the practical needs of the organization. Students are asked to commit to a full academic year in Chorale: teamwork is integral to accomplishing the goals of the ensemble, and each semester builds upon the accomplishments of the previous one.
Our first purpose is to make a musical offering in the spirit of I Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
In addition, we integrate the concepts of musical ministry with the highest possible degree of applied musical artistry and professionalism. We seek to represent Christ to a skeptical world by holding our ensemble and its members to high standards of spiritual and musical accountability.
We hope to speak of Christ both by our standard of excellence, “striving to do all to the glory of God,” and “by our love for one another,” the evidence of Christ’s work in our lives individually and corporately.
In 2011 the Chorale presented a combined performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria, RV 589, with the PHC Chamber Orchestra. Enjoy an audio sample of Gloria by clicking here. This year, the Chorale joined with the Chamber Orchestra to perform Mozart’s Vespers. Audio and visual recordings of this performance are forthcoming.
As each fall semester nears its close, the Chorale plays a central role in turning our hearts and minds toward Advent, Christmas, and the time of holiday rest.
Advent Chapels: The Chorale leads the campus in singing Christmas hymns, reading passages from the Gospels, and lighting the candles of the Advent wreath.
Campus Christmas Tree Lighting: The Chorale brings the student body together around the Christmas tree to sing Christmas carols, decorate and light the tree, and enjoy holiday treats.
Lessons and Carols Service: The culmination of the campus community’s celebration of Advent, this is a traditional service derived from the service at King's College, Cambridge. The student body and the community are all invited to hear Christmas songs and hymns with readings of Scripture and prayers. Many residents of Loudoun county have come to regard it as an indispensable holiday tradition, and it is a pinnacle event for Chorale members. This service is webcast live each year so be sure to watch for more information as the time approaches.
Each spring, the Chorale presents a concert to PHC and the local communities. Past performances include
Christlag in Todesbanden, BWV 4, a cantata by J.S. Bach with strings
Mendelssohn’s Elijah, with the Lancaster Bible College choir and orchestra
The Passion According to St. John, by Heinrich Schutz
Missa Kenya, by Paul Basler.
In 2011, the Chorale introduced a more informal program for the spring concert. Now Is The Month of Maying offered performances of folk tunes and Pirates of the Caribbean music from the Chamber Ensemble, madrigals and settings of Robert Burns’s poetry from the Chorale, haunting melodies and hilarious musical sketches from smaller ensembles, and arrangements of popular songs by the men’s a cappella group.
Each fall, the Chorale hosts other choral groups for day-long festivals of learning and singing together. These Choral Festivals are an opportunity to mentor younger students through a shared love of the choral art, and private schools, PHC’s Youth Music Academy, and other schools throughout the region have joined us for these events.