Comprised of 90 students, the Loyola Choir, directed by fine arts teacher Mr. Steven Speciale, performed its annual Christmas concert for the student body on Wednesday, Dec. 9, in Xavier Center.
Earlier this month, the choir, consisting of one class period of the Music Appreciation class and the student choir, conducted their 8th annual Lessons and Carols service on Saturday, Dec. 5, at St. John’s Cathedral in Downtown Los Angeles. The service involved readings from the Gospel, which were followed by songs and music.
The concert at Loyola was a brief version of the performance put on at the cathedral. Following Saturday’s performance at the cathedral, the choir’s performance for the student body on Wednesday included songs such as, “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “Silent Night”; and also foreign carols such as, “Rio Rio Chiu,” “Deo Dicamus Gratias” and “African Noel.”
Sophomore Eric Shevlet, a member of the choir, said, “The performance outside of school was great. We had a fantastic, professional organist accompany us, and that made the experience much better.”
According to sophomore Julio Martinez, this year’s performance was a little different from last year’s. “Last year we had professional opera singers, and not having them this year changed the dynamic of the choir. Because they were professionals, they added volume and pitch that the students couldn’t provide.”
Senior Daniel Caruso, an audience member, said, “I thought it was the best performance I’ve been to at Loyola. I loved the music, and I loved the energy that was emitted from the audience.”
Sophomore Jacob McBride said, “It was excellent. I found myself [wanting]to dance in my chair multiple times. I loved ‘Hark, the Herald Angel Sing’ because everyone was getting pretty fired up.”
Following the performance, Mr. Speciale said, “We just wanted to bring a little holiday spirit to the school in the form of music.”