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The Hillsdale College Orchestra and full choir will perform a Christmas concert in the Christ Chapel. | Col­legian Archives

On Sunday, the full Hillsdale College orchestra and choir will give a joint per­for­mance for the first time in three years.  

The concert will feature 122 choral voices and 70 orchestra musi­cians. The reper­toire will include Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria”and Vaughn Williams’ “Fan­tasia on Christmas Carols.” 

Poulenc’s “Gloria” is written for both orchestra and choir. According to junior Gabe Kramer, it’s a staple in the choral tra­dition. 

“It’s really hard,” Kramer said. “It’s one of the hardest choral pieces I’ve ever had to tackle.”

This will be the choir and orchestra’s first joint per­for­mance in Christ Chapel. Orchestra con­certs used to be held in Markle Audi­torium while the choirs used College Baptist for their per­for­mances. 

Choral Director and Sym­phony Con­ductor Pro­fessor James Holleman said the two groups are getting used to the new space and the new acoustics.

“It’s inspiring. All the stu­dents in the orchestra and choir seem very inspired to be in here,” Holleman said. 

Chamber choir member Ethan Visser said playing with the orchestra adds another level to the per­for­mance.

“You need to pay a lot more attention and listen more but it’s also really helpful because hearing the orchestra we can hear the music more and that helps us sing our notes,” Visser said. “Before, we’ve been singing our part in a vacuum without under­standing how it fits into the rest of the piece.”

As the director of both groups, Holleman will conduct all 192 musi­cians at the same time. 

“To me, it’s quite enjoyable because it’s a chal­lenge. There’s a lot of ele­ments. There’s no time to get bored men­tally,” he said.