ASU choir groups to give haunting performance on themes of love and war

The ASU Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus and Barrett Choir will be teaming up this Sunday to perform their joint concert titled "All's Fair in Love and War."

The show, which starts at 4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Mesa, will feature the choirs performing battle music as well as love songs.

Some of the pieces that will be performed include "Danny Boy," "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and a musical version of Lt. Col. John McCrae's tribute to fallen solders of World War I, "In Flanders Fields."

Ryan Kiefer, an architecture senior and a fourth-year member of the Barrett choir, said the a cappella rendition of "In Flanders Fields" is extraordinarily haunting.

"The repertoire is pretty fantastic," Kiefer said.

Being a senior, this is Kiefer's last performance with the choir. However, he is not letting that get in the way of putting on a great show.

"I always give each performance my full focus and commitment," Kiefer said.

Lauren Engel, a mathematics junior who performs with the Barrett choir as a section leader and is the president of Women's Chorus, said there will be a variety of different songs that stay within the theme of love and war.

"We have a lot of wonderful different styles of music," Engel said.

While the theme of the show may be love and war, the topics of songs may not be so explicit. The broadness of the theme allows the choirs to play around with it.

"It's a big theme for a lot of choir music," Engel said.

A form of love that will be explored, for example, is love for the planet.

"All of our pieces are tied together with the theme of the beauty of the Earth," Engel said.

This last concert of the year gives the choirs a chance to try new things. Barrett Choir will be adding choreography to one of its pieces, something which Barrett Choir President Brittany Convery said they do not do often.

"We have one song called 'the Argument,'" Convery said. "It's a very fun piece. ... We don't usually do pieces like it, so it's a fun change of pace."

Convery said she is excited for the challenge the choreography adds. 

Another challenge that Convery said she is prepared to tackle is performing in a church, which is more of a change to a choir's status quo than one may think.

"Performing in a church is very interesting," Convery said. "The acoustics are so much different. It's going to sound different."

The choirs all have open memberships and many of the members performing on Sunday are not music majors. Some are brand new to singing in a choir setting.

"A lot of our members are not in the Herberger school," Convery said.

Those interested in seeing love and war mixed musically should order tickets from the Herberger school's Vendini page. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for non-students. 

Reach the reporter at or follow  @jeffdarge on Twitter.

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