SHU makes music to make a difference

The Seton Hall University Chorus, along with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Chamber Orchestra, will be performing at the “Concert for Hope” event on Oct. 28. The concert will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City.

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“The [Concert of Hope] aims to spread the message of peace in hard times,” said soprano section leader Anna Carpenter, a sophomore music and theatre performance major. “Not even necessarily in the world, but sometimes just within ourselves. There is a lot happening in our world that can be troubling. Music helps us to find comfort and peace of mind.”

Carpenter explained that the aim of the concert is to spread the message of peace and with that, hope in these trying times.

Assistant professor Jason Tramm, the director of choral activities, said that this is the first time the Seton Hall music program has been invited to perform.

“Since my tenure here, Seton Hall has focused on music as a mission, music with a social mission and music as a societal discourse,” Tramm said. He said he feels that this concert is an example of music with a mission as it aims to give people hope and to an extent, peace of mind.

Andrew Cates, a junior art design, theatre and music major, discussed the chorus’ progress in preparing for the concert. “Getting to work with Dr. Tramm is always a privilege, as he is an excellent maestro,” Cates said. “Additionally, this is the best the choir has sounded in my time here at Seton Hall, and I do not say that lightly.”

Cates is the choir manager and spends a lot of his time preparing the music scores. In addition, he organizes busing and arrival times, dress codes, food and a variety of other items for the choir.

The chorus has 60 members in total. It is made up of various tenors, altos, sopranos and bases and includes various faculty members, members of the SHU community and students of all majors. In addition, the chorus and orchestra will perform with soloists who have performed at Carnegie Hall and operas.

Tenor section leader Jordan Green, a junior secondary education, music and theatre major, explained the rehearsal process. “We have a rigorous rehearsal process which includes three hours of choir on Wednesdays, sectionals on Fridays,” Green said. “We all have a responsibility to practice on our own.”

Green said he needs to know the sections very well to be able to guide his section through the pieces.

Some of the students in the chorus said learning the music is considered to be the main challenge, along with learning how to meet the professional expectations of performing as the chorus does and where they do. In the end, Tramm said that the chorus is always amazed at just how well they can perform the music after practicing it.

Daniel D’Amico can be reached at

Author: Daniel D'Amico

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