As eerie organ music flooded the First Presbyterian Church, a somber and haunting presence filled the room. Organist David Solem finished his piece with his back to the audience while SFUAD and St. John’s chorus members prepared to take the stage.“Rejoice in the Lamb” by Benjamin Britten was the first combined song performed by SFUAD and St. John’s on Nov. 19. Programs that were handed out before the concert contained lyrics so the crowd could follow along. This was helpful because it was near impossible to make out what they choirs were actually singing besides “rejoice in God.”
As the first chorus came to a conclusion, Elise Stoffer took the church by storm with a powerful treble solo. The opera sounds coming from this woman were surprising and impressive. With program in hand, it was easy to follow along because otherwise it was, once again, difficult to articulate what it was she was saying.
After Stoffer’s powerhouse performance came a few more soloists, including Anna Evanitz, Sara Cunningham, and last but certainly not least, Emiliano Jaime.
When Jaime opened his mouth to sing, the whole church was taken by surprise. Jaime’s extremely low octaves and dynamic projection were a near perfect combination to tie up the solos.
As the chorus wrapped up its last verse the crowd went wild with applause. Director Seven Paxton took a bow and said, “you’re dismissed.” The crowd chuckled and began filing out of the church.