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Musical Messages: Fall Concerts

  • PCC Symphonic Band Rehearsal
  • PCC Symphonic Band
  • PCC Symphonic Band
  • Concert on the Green
  • Concert on the Green
  • Concert on the Green

Every semester, musical groups at Pensacola Christian College such as the PCCymphony, Chamber Ensemble, and Symphonic Choir rehearse, practice, and tune up their skills to produce a wide array of performances that range from fun and relaxed to sophisticated and serene.

Some concerts may appeal to the kid in us all like the recent Concert on the Green, which featured favorites from classic cartoons. Others are more reflective like the Chamber Ensemble and Symphonic Choir’s upcoming concert performance of “Magnificat” based on Mary’s prayer of praise. For the directors and musicians though, the goal is the same—give your all and convey a message.

“Each concert I prepare, I think through the message we are to share,” said Dr. Cleusia Goncalves, one of two “Magnificat” faculty directors. “It is important to us that the audience will appreciate the music and interpretation and be blessed by the message.”

Dr. David Hill makes up the second half of the faculty duo directing “Magnificat.” He said, “I am humbled by our students in that they truly give their all for performances. For a director, this is a dream.”

When it comes time to perform, instrumentalists put their full focus into performing the message they’ve prepared so long to deliver, to give back to the audience the same emotions they get when performing. Many students such as Daniel Fitzgerald (Graduate Assistant), who has performed with the PCCymphony since his freshman year, perform to release their inner selves. “Performing is often an emotional experience for me as I can covey my feelings through the music in front of me,” he said. “Music is a form of communication from the performer(s) to the audience.”

The theme being communicated to the audience is discussed early on in the directing process. “To choose a theme, I usually have a main piece in the program which is the center of the concert,” said Dr. Goncalves. “Based on this main work, I find the title for the concert.”

For the upcoming performance of “Magnificat,” the two directors came together to choose one theme that would work for both the Chamber Ensemble and Symphonic Choir.  “We try to think of what will be an enjoyable audience experience and will present a cohesive program from two different choirs under different directors,” said Dr. Hill. “Dr. Goncalves and I laugh about how much time we spend choosing music and deciding what we will work on with the choirs.”

While many groups are composed of music students, a number of students from other majors also join the groups. Any student can join a group by auditioning at the start of the semester, and even those taking the courses as extracurricular activities give their all to performing beautiful pieces.

In the end, the time and practice put into each concert by both the faculty directors and student performers creates a performance that can move the soul. Each musical group that performs uses their gifts to send the message of God’s goodness to its audience through a masterful display of melody.

“The power of the music to communicate and touch lives is astounding,” said Dr. Hill. “It gives me enormous joy to experience this power with such a large group of students who are believers; who have been given such talent and are so yielded to God.”