In Hendricks Chapel, the pitter-patter of a closed drum hi-hat was quickly overpowered by the crescendo of vocals emanating from The Hendricks Chapel Choir during its rendition of “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”

Sunday’s program entitled “Seasons of Love” was this week’s installment of Hendricks Chapel’s “Music and Message” weekly series. The event is open to the public and runs every Sunday at 4 p.m.

Jose Calvar, the artistic director of the Hendricks Chapel Choir, said that this new event combines both the Malmgren Concert Series and the Hendricks’ Dean Convocation. As a result, this show consisted of both a performance from the choir and a spoken reflection.

A freshman music education major, Ronny Ditchek, the only male soloist, stepped up onto the stage with a grin. Wearing a dress shirt and folding his hands while he stood an inch away from the mic, he performed “Younger than Springtime” from “South Pacific.” Afterwards, he was met with an applause.

Ditchek said he had “Younger than Springtime” in his repertoire since his senior year of high school.

Brianna Cofield, a sophomore sound technology major, played a high-octave on the piano keys while freshman Eliana Koenigsberg performed “Before It’s Over” from “Dogfight.” Upon each hard-hitting vocal extension, Koenigsberg lifted up her right hand to help her voice stretch out, all while she looked out into the distance above the audience.

Standing inches away from the microphone, Francesa Panzara stood on the wooden stage and glanced out to the crowd. Her performance of “Astonishing” from “Little Women” filled the room with the echo of tight, high vocals.

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A silence fell among the crowd as Augustine Sobeng began lightly pressing piano keys for the minor keys of the beginning of “Burn” from “Hamilton.” Then, sophomore Emma Brenner’s voice lifted off and drifted into the audience.

Sobeng’s piano provided a bassline accompaniment for Brenner and her voice blended into the music. As Sobeng’s keys drifted off, Brenner closed her performance with a soft chord.

Hendricks’ Dean, Brian Konkol, spoke about joy during his spoken reflection. He mentioned that when he moved to Syracuse two years ago, his move-in truck driver was joyous and loved his job. Konkol then correlated it to the fact that the driver loved helping out families that were nervous about moving into new places feel more comfortable. To close it off, he mentioned, “our students deserve trajectory to an extraordinary life.”

Kathy and Dick Schlote, both longtime Syracuse residents for more than 40 years, attended the show and said that they loved the choir’s performance and look forward to the coming weeks. The two added that their granddaughter is a sophomore at SU and as avid choir music fans, they had to attend the event.

Dick said “it’s a great forum for people to get up and perform before an audience.”

The Hendricks Chapel Choir’s soft harmonizing vocals sang while Ed Nanno’s saxophone jived during their performance of “All Good Gifts” from “Godspell.”

At the end of the choir’s performance, Nanno let his tenor saxophone rock against the softness of the choir, while a piano trickled off to end off the show.

“I think it’s a wonderful presentation and I think it’s phenomenal for the community,” Kathy said. “It’s too bad that more people don’t realize it.”

DISCLAIMER: Ronny Ditchek is a contributing writer for The Daily Orange’s feature department.

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