A Closer Look at the Patrick Henry College Chorale

Posted by Leo Briceno on 7/15/19 4:50 PM

Which Philosopher Are You_ (1)

When you go up on stage in a Patrick Henry College Chorale performance, you’re initially thinking about nailing the first note, shuffling around in your tuxedo, finding your proper position on the risers. There’s a quick mental check to recall the order of the songs and a brief glance around the audience. But once you’ve done all that and your eyes have adjusted to the glare of stage lights and the music starts—you get the chance to remember what you’re singing about.

And that’s where the Patrick Henry College Chorale experience really comes alive.

Even When He Is Silent - Patrick Henry College Chorale-1

 

If you’re in Chorale, you’ve been over each song a thousand times. You’ve been to dozens of 8:00 A.M. rehearsals every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—you know the music like the back of your hand. At this point, it’s no longer a matter of hitting notes; it becomes more than just singing words from sheet music.

In the Spring of 2019, the chorale performed Kim André Arnesen’s “Even When He is Silent,”—a poem scribbled on the walls of a basement cellar in Cologne, Germany.

“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.”

The poem is all the anonymous author left they left behind from their time in the Cologne concentration camp—a powerful testimony of hope and perseverance in the face of the horrors of the holocaust.

It’s one thing to read something like that, but it’s another matter entirely to sing it, to believe it, and to know the people singing with you believe it too.

At Patrick Henry College, the poem on the prison wall is only the tip of the iceberg. From Handel’s Messiah to Vivaldi’s Gloria, participants of the Chorale give testament to some of the most powerful ideas ever put to music.

“…and He will reign forever and ever.”
“—Gloria in Excelsis Deo—”
“I’ve got peace like a river…”

The list goes on.

Patrick Henry College Chorale wants to do more than just achieve musical excellence. It’s a community on campus that cherishes and nurtures the idea of biblical community. It does a spectacular job of bringing simple but profound truths off the paper.

Patrick Henry College is dedicated to an unwavering biblical worldview. This means that when the singers of the chorale address issues of love, hope, peace, sorrow, or joy they understand that they’re singing about experiences that find their ultimate meaning in the Word of God.

Even after performers come off the risers and put away the bow-ties and the high-heels, the songs, and tunes that will get stuck in their heads act as a constant reminder of the beauty and purpose found in the Christian life.

 

Click here to explore some other music activities at Patrick Henry College.

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  Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals be

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