FMU’s concert choir and voice collective perform at PAC


Photo by: Steven McCartt

The FMU concert choir looks to their director, Fran Coleman, for direction during their musical performance.

FMU’s Concert Choir and Voice Collective took the mainstage of the Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Nov. 21 for their performances of the semester.  

Fran Coleman, an assistant professor of music industry, directed both groups. The Concert Choir performed a series of songs, followed by music by Voice Collective. Both were under the theme “On The Pulse of A New Day.” The night ended with both groups performing two songs together.  

The University Choir started their show with a traditional South African song titled “Iparadisi” followed by “Deep River,” which featured a solo from Leticia Wilson. Their final two songs were “Hold Me, Rock Me” and “O Magnum Mysterium.” 

The Voice Collective then took the stage and began their rendition of “Say Her Name,” which paid tribute to the many women of color who lost their lives due to police brutality and featured a solo from Anaiahjenelle Deas. The group then performed “On The Pulse of This New Day”, and ended with “Do Not Go, My Love.”  

To close out the evening, both groups joined on stage and sang “Dona nobis pacem” and “I Will Sing You The Stars”.  

The night featured a variety of pieces from many different genres of music and several composers, though all were set under the same theme for the night.   

Before each song, Coleman gave a brief introduction to the pieces, providing a history of the origins, composers and meanings of each song. Coleman said a lot of thought was put into music selections with many factors to consider.  

“I also try to diversify styles: foreign language, spiritual, sacred, holiday, world music, folk, etc.,” Coleman said, “This semester, we are exploring a little of each of these genres.”  

Along with choosing which songs to perform, there was the matter of learning, practicing and rehearsing the music with the choirs themselves.    

“The students learn important music and vocal techniques that help with tone production, phrasing, diction and the importance of ensemble,” Coleman said, “But ultimately, our job as performing artists is to change someone’s day. We can only aspire to connect with our listeners and help them find solace through music.”  

FMU’s University Choir has performed in a number of venues in the Florence area, from local churches to performing alongside the Florence Symphony Orchestra.  

Voice Collective, FMU’s smaller, audition-only choir, has performed all across the state for several events and organizations. The group has also performed in Florida, Maryland and Washington, D.C., as well as in Vienna, Austria and on a performance cruise located in the Bahamas.  

For those who missed this semester’s performance of the two groups, the next showcase is scheduled for April 19, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. at the PAC downtown. Tickets may be purchased online or at the ticket office inside the PAC.