Last Sunday my roommate started complaining about the World of the Arts event she had to attend that night. I was bored and a little curious, since I have not taken WOTA yet, so I decided to tag along.
It was a mixed concert from UW-Whitewater’s Chamber Singers and Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and because I had heard so much talk about how boring and useless the WOTA events are, I wasn’t expecting much. I’m a lover of the arts, but as a business major I don’t know much about music, I assumed there wouldn’t be much there to hold my interest.
They proved me dead wrong.
The first choir was the Chamber Singers, and you don’t have to know much about music to realize they have some serious talent. The blend between the men’s low bass voices and the trill of the women’s voices sent chills down my spine.
They performed a variety of music, from American composers to African American folk music. All were exceptional and each song had their own twist and layering of voices.
The Vocal Jazz Ensemble put on a performance that will forever live in my memory. I didn’t think it was possible for college musicians to produce music that could affect me so much. For one thing, none of the performers had sheet music in front of them, it was all either memorized or improvised.
When the student performers improvised they took turns doing solos or ‘trading fours’, which is when multiple performers take turns improvising for four measures, with another vocalist. Improvising in front of a live audience has to take some guts, and as an audience member it is captivating to watch them interacting with each other as they scat and make up music on the spot.
This event was thoroughly entertaining and eye opening as it gave my fellow students a chance to perform in front of a live audience.
Many of these students want to make a career out of performance art, so not only is it an entertaining and completely worthwhile experience for other students, but it encourages the students who are majoring in performance arts to continue to pursue their dreams.
The reason students are required to attend events for WOTA in the first place, is that the arts are what makes us passionate, empathetic human beings.
Music opens up our sensual palate to new experiences, even if it doesn’t directly relate to the degree we are seeking.