UWT’s World Voices Vocal Ensemble held their inaugural performance, titled “We Need a Word,” last week in Phillip Hall. This joint venture between, UWT students and faculty, and the community is the beginnings of a music program at UWT.
Since the arrival of Chancellor Debra Friedman and Vice Chancellor J.W. Harrington, the administration has been working towards providing music courses on campus.
“We thought it would be a great idea to have something the community could join into,” Harrington said, explaining the reasoning behind a joint effort between UWT and the community.
Harrington joined the ensemble as well, and has enjoyed it so far. “I’m an administrator, but also a singer,” Harrington said. “I thought since I wanted to make this happen, I’d join in.”
The ensemble, led by Brian Winnie and Johann van Niekirk, performed a variety of songs, focused largely in gospel, including songs such as “This Little Light of Mine” and “The Gospel Train”.
Ensemble members introduced songs and gave historical context in lieu of a paper program, giving the performance an informal atmosphere.
“We are trying to make this a collaborative experience,” Winnie told the audience.
The ensemble operates in a relaxed and informal manner, as members attend practice whenever they are able; some had made it to only one or two of the eight rehearsals. However, the ensemble performed beautifully, and members enjoy being involved.
“The instructors are really fun. They did a good job incorporating community with students,” said Tushara John, a UWT senior and World Voices Ensemble soprano.
The ensemble will be holding another event for the holidays, and is planning other concerts throughout the year, culminating in a pop music performance in spring quarter.
If students want to join the ensemble they can also get credit by taking the music class currently offered under TARTS.