Make a Joyful Noise
September 6, 2011
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“Team work is working together, even when apart.” There is no greater testament to this than to look at our very own Catawba Singers, who in four short years helped transform Catawba College’s music program into the prominent force that it has grown to be. It is said that it takes a collective group of people willing to surrender themselves to the whole, rather than individualized desire, to truly achieve greatness.
This willingness to surrender personal desires for the whole is shown today, as the ensemble faces a year of re-building and re-connecting. Though things are not as they once were, former members of the Catawba Singers openly welcome the newest edition of singers into the ensemble. When asked about feelings towards new members, Singers section leader, Allison Andrews, states, “So far, everyone has shown dedication and a great work ethic towards the Catawba Choral program. I’m really excited for the future of our choir.” It is that very positive attitude and encouragement that is the driving force for the strength within the department. The driving force that pushes everyone points us to the positive side even when times are tough.
To lead in this rebuilding year, Catawba reached out to Mr. Justin Hazelgrove to step in and act as new choir director of the choral ensembles. Justin brings a fresh and revitalizing approach to Catawba Singers, teaching various techniques and musical styles while maintaining the liveliness and innovation Singers had been known for in the past.
I was honored to be able to sit down and discuss Catawba Singers and the music department with Professor Hazelgrove.
RB: From the recent occurrences of the summer, what are your feelings about the state of the Catawba Singers present and future?
JH: I feel very positive about the choir here at Catawba right now. The Numbers are down in Singers but I think we have thirty- four very strong students. And, I think those are thirty- four strong students who will serve as a beacon of encouragement to other members of the student community to come join us in our music making. So yea, I feel very confident and very positive about the choral program right now… I would hope maybe by the end of next semester we’ll have forty to forty five in singers. But really my biggest goal at this point is to continue the great choral tradition.
So what advice can I give a choir that has accomplished so much and now faces a rebuilding year? Work hard, Enjoy each other, and MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE!!!