Editor questions society’s money mindset

By Justus Sturtevant Editor in chief

As an economics major, I spend a lot of time dealing with money.

I’ve taken accounting classes where we track money, management classes where we make decisions about money, marketing classes where we learn how to make others spend money and economics classes where we try to understand money.

Even now, in my fourth year at Susquehanna, I am often surprised by the conversations I hear about money.

The other day, one of my professors exalted money as the primary motivator in a business setting. As he said this, I glanced around the room to gauge the reaction of the class around me; no one else seemed to think twice about his comment.

Before I go any further, I should probably qualify what I am about to say.

First, this is not an attack on the business school at Susquehanna; while I certainly see things from a different perspective than most of the department’s faculty and students, I hope that the comments I make in this piece do not come across as an evaluation of the school or its teachings.

Second, I understand that we live in a capitalist society, where money is used as a tool to drive the exchange of goods and to fuel economic growth. This article is certainly not an indictment of the modern economy, as I have neither the time nor the knowledge required for such an undertaking.

Instead, this piece is meant to start conversations, to cause critical evaluation where there may not have been before and hopefully to cause people to take a step back and see the system they have been living in their entire lives in a new light.

The first point I would like to make is something that I alluded to earlier: money is a tool.

I used this word very intentionally, because I believe it is something many of us have lost sight of.

The very nature of currency implies that it is only a means to an end. It was invented to improve upon the inefficiencies of the barter system.

Without money, it is impossible to guarantee that any two parties involved in an exchange of goods will get what they want in the most efficient way possible.

Money solves this inefficiency by placing an agreed upon value on the goods, which can be measured in a common system. It also allows for indirect trade of goods.

Today, so many of us view money as a goal itself. People work to make money. They choose their major and subsequent career path based on money. People stampede each other on Black Friday to save money.

Instead of a simple tool used to facilitate exchange, money has become the driving force of so much of what we do.

In economics, we measure nearly everything in money. In many cases, this makes sense. How do you value land or capital? Money. No problem.

But some of the areas we use money as a measure of value are a little less intuitive in my eyes.

For example, Bill Gates is worth approximately $82 billion dollars while the average American adult is worth around $300,000.

Think about that for a moment. That is not just saying Bill Gates is richer than everyone else; it is literally saying he has more value.

Principles of economics classes often uses money as the measure of utility, which is the satisfaction or happiness associated with an event or good. Can we really quantify happiness in this way?

Measuring utility in monetary units is clearly useful. It allows us to analyze things in ways that otherwise would not be possible.

Using money as a universal unit of measure does the same thing. It allows us to measure and compare things that otherwise are incompatible.

However, money as a universal measure is also a very dangerous thing. How much does it influence the way we see the world?

Earlier this week I watched an episode from the latest season of “Black Mirror,” a British anthology series that presents social commentary through fictitious stories.

The episode I watched, titled “Nosedive,” focused on a society where everyone was tied to a social rating—zero to five—which was constantly being updated by those with whom they interacted.

An individual’s rating influenced everything, from where people could live to what kind of service they received from businesses.

While certain elements of the episode were clearly hyperbolic, many aspects of it reflected our own society in my eyes.

Instead of these ratings, it’s money that drives so much in our society. We build country clubs that by their very nature exclude based on wealth. We build million dollar stadiums with suites and lounges that seperate the wealthiest spectators from the rest.

Money influences where you live, who you are friends with, how people treat you, what education you get and the list goes on.

This thing that was once just a simple tool to facilitate efficient trade has become a central part of our culture. Personally, I’m not sure it’s such a good thing.

Part of the reason I became an economics major is because I am genuinely fascinated by the way markets and trade works. Another reason I became an economics major though is because I am also genuinely fascinated by the control money has over so many of us.

The editorials of The Quill reflect the views of individual members of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire editorial board or of the university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Director’s Discussion

By Eli Bass—Director of Jewish Life

Through archeology we find our history. Archeology as a practice allows us to get a better glimpse of our past, allowing us to learn and understand what life was like in eras past.

In Jerusalem a 70-meter high mound was recently the site of such learning. Israeli archeologist Yuval Gadot led the excavation of the site from 2013 to 2014. What he thinks he found lays the groundwork for a challenge we deal with today.

Inside this mound his team discovered an abundance of fish skeletons and the bones of an assortment of other animals. They found other scraps from industry and wood burned fires. A few coins date the site’s use from 0 C.E. to 70 C.E. Gadot believes this mound is one of the earliest examples of a planned landfill. In the first century this was a method for cleanliness, where waste was gathered and piled away from the people who produced it.

This model of burying trash far away from those who produced it has become the standard method of disposal. Landfill placement is an issue of environmental justice. No one wants a landfill in their backyard. Yet the waste must go somewhere, and usually it is near the home of racial minorities and people in poverty.

Landfill use is about resources. Plastics are extracted from oil, and our ability to recycle plastics results in less use of fossil fuels. Paper and cardboard come from trees. Our purchasing decisions have real world consequences. In 2013 the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the United States produced 254 million tons of waste, which went to a landfill. I know that the majority of what I buy will likely end up in a landfill. The EPA estimates that each day the average American produces 4.4 pounds of trash. Of that 1.51 pounds is either recycled or composted.

On campus, we are working to improve our own statistics. TerraCycle bins and a growth in on-campus recycling are promising. More challenging is the use of campus recycling bins for trash, which results in the entire bin going to the landfill. Our campus is recycling, but we should be recycling more.

Forty percent of all food produced in the United States ends up in landfills. Food is 12 percent of the United States’ waste stream.

Deuteronomy 16:20 tells us “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” One way that I pursue environmental justice is working to reduce my waste. I recycle. Not only my paper and aluminum cans but also my food.

In my home and at Hillel House much of the food waste goes to the worms. Red wigglers are a specific type of worm known for their deep appetites. In optimal settings red worms are said to eat about half of their body weights each day. Because I compost with these worms both at work and at home, I have thousands of them. They keep away the smell of rotting food and create a rich, wonderful soil. It is also my way of reducing my impact on the environment. Let me know if you would like to have a tour.

My worms are a daily reminder to me of how we can take disgusting waste and turn it into delicious produce and beautiful houseplants. Gadot noted the lack of many valuable resources, such as metal, at the site he researched, likely because they were recycled. I’m reflective that future historians may also judge us for the piles of trash we will leave. We can do better.

Director’s Discussion reflects the views of an individual member of the religious field. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor

Editor enjoys her final year while she can

By Jenna Sands Forum editor

People always say enjoy it while it lasts. They say it about high school and college and even studying abroad.

I always thought about it and didn’t want to make that mistake of not enjoying things while they last, so I tried to make a point to enjoy little moments.

I realized that just trying to enjoy something because I knew it would soon be a distant memory actually made it harder to enjoy the moment.

When I studied abroad in London last fall, I knew it would be over way too fast.

There were some points where I looked forward to going home, but I tried to ward off those feelings so I could enjoy my time there before it was over.

During winter break after I got home and during most of the spring semester, I was happy to be back and see everyone who I hadn’t seen in four months.

It wasn’t until a few months later that I started to wish I could do my whole semester in London again. I started thinking that maybe I hadn’t taken advantage of all my time there, and there were places I didn’t get to go and things I didn’t get to do.

I wish I had explored more.

I have to remind myself that I did do a lot while I was there, and I didn’t waste any of my time.

Concentrating on all the things I didn’t get the chance to do just creates a negative and even more nostalgic feeling toward my semester abroad, and that is not how I want to remember it.

I want to remember all the beautiful things I saw in the city and all the places I had the opportunity to go.

I think it will be kind of the same situation for college in general. As a senior, I know that very soon college will be over, and I will probably look back and wish that I had done more.

I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can while it lasts, but when each day is so busy the days seem to just slip away.

I want my senior year to last and be fun, but at the same time I want it to end. It’s not as fun here as it was my first year, and at this point I am just over school.

But I know that as soon as the summer after I graduate is over, I am going to miss it and wish I had more time.

I will probably wish I had enjoyed it while it lasted, but I know that that is not as easy as it sounds.

Just thinking back on the good memories is enough to know that it was worth it and that I had a lot of great times in college.

The editorials of The Quill reflect the views of individual members of the editorial board. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the entire editorial board or of the university. The content of the Forum page is the responsibility of the editor in chief and the Forum editor.

Susquehanna students volunteer at ‘Festival’ to help disabled

By Kyle Kern Staff writer

Students from Susquehanna visited the Selinsgrove Center to attend the Peace Festival on Nov. 13. The event was sponsored by Susquehanna’s Office of the Chaplain.

The Peace Festival, which is a chance for students to help mentally handicapped individuals do arts and crafts and other activities, is usually held on Susquehanna’s campus.

This year it was moved to the Selinsgrove Center to allow more disabled people to participate. A group of students from several Greek life organizations, the Chaplain’s Office and other clubs and organizations helped support the festival.

Troy Spencer, a junior who works in the Chaplain’s Office, helped organize the event. He believes that an event like this should be of interest to people.

He urged Susquehanna students to get involved in more events like the Peace Festival, because the more students that help, the more that can be done to help the community.

This year’s Peace Festival included arts and crafts and a long list of songs that were sung throughout the two-hour period.

Before the activities started, the group of student volunteers introduced themselves and expressed how excited they were to be supporting the Peace Festival.

The first activity was a Thanksgiving turkey hand craft. The student volunteers helped to distribute the paper and colored pencils to the participants. Each volunteer went from person to person helping each one draw, color and cut the Thanksgiving hand turkey.

Both the participants from the center and the student volunteers were able to talk together as they did the activities together.

To continue in the spirit of peace, the students then took time to sing a list of songs to the participants.

The volunteers, led by Chaplain Kershner, sang Christmas carols to the crowd in the Selinsgrove Center.

Why the Christmas music? Spencer said, “We play to what the participants like, and they like Christmas music.”

The list of music included renditions of popular songs like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause,” “Silent Night,” “Jingle Bells,” “Jingle House Rock” and “Frosty the Snowman.”

During the sing-along, the volunteers passed out instruments to the participants, such as maracas and tambourines, and the crowd was free to sing along.

Sophomore Alyssa Miville enjoyed her first time helping out with the members of the community at the Selinsgrove Center. “I think it is really important to help out and spread the love and joy to one another and to be of service to others who cannot do it so easily,” Miville said. “There is always room for more love.”

Sophomore Evan Anderson also added, “I believe it is the right thing to do, to help out in the community.”

After the sing-along, the event came to a close. The volunteers helped to clean up the area and afterward visited the Selinsgrove Center chapel.

Spencer was pleased at how the event had turned out, as this was his first time organizing and attending the event.

“I think that it went well,” he said. “We had to do a little of improvising for a bit, but it seemed like the residents really loved the event, especially the singing.”

He also added that being able to be at the event meant a lot to him personally, and it was a blessing to be able to be with the residents, their caretakers and his classmates for a few hours.

Spencer also thanked the volunteers that came out to help.

“The residents and my classmates really made this [event] one to remember,” Spencer said. “Thanks again to all those who were able to be there.”

You can learn about opportunities to volunteer at events like this and others at the Johnson Center for Community Engagement located in the basement of the Degenstein Campus Center.

Simulation banquet provides awareness

By Matthew Dooley Staff writer

The Johnson Center for Civic Engagement hosted the annual Hunger Banquet at Susquehanna on Nov. 16.

According to sophomore Abbie Wolfe, the poverty program coordinator at the Johnson Center for Civic Engagement, the Hunger Banquet was a simulation where students were put into three different classes. There was an upper class, middle class and lower class. Participants then received meals according to those classes.

The event started with a speech from a community action committee worker. She discussed with the students how the situations they will be experiencing affect real people. The students were then free to enjoy their meals. However, the students were told there would be restrictions depending on what class they were put in.

According to Wolfe, “[The upper class was] served by a staff member from the JCCE. The ambiance [was] much different from the other two classes.”

After the students had eaten, a scenario took place where the upper and middle classes were able to invite someone from the lower class to eat with them.

They were stopped by a JCCE worker, impersonating a restaurant manager, as he kicked the lower class people from both the upper and middle class serving areas.

The Hunger Banquet concluded with a group discussion about how the students felt about what happened and how they feel knowing people are actually treated like that in the world today.

Sophomore Evan Anderson, the program coordinator and marketing coordinator for the JCCE, said: “The point really is to raise awareness of the ethical treatment of humans. So, obviously there is an unequal distribution of food, so that people in the wealthier classes have a lot of food, but don’t always use it all and people in lower classes don’t have access to all kinds of food that you and I do.”

The Hunger Banquet has been an annual event for the last three years. Wolfe hopes to keep improving the banquet. She said, “We are definitely trying each year to make it a little bit different, make it a little bit bigger, incorporate other people on campus.”

The JCCE wants to focus on the inclusiveness of campus by giving students the chance to step into someone else’s shoes, to see the world from a different perspective.

Anderson said: “As students in college, most of the time, we come from at least middle class families who are in a generally good state of affairs to the point we can go to college, get degrees and go into the job market with a lot of education and knowledge behind our belts and land decent enough jobs to support our lifestyle. But not everyone has this opportunity that we have and because of that I think it is very important to go to these simulations.”

Students enjoy music at ‘Let’s Talk’

By Jacquelyn Letizia Staff writer

On Nov. 15, Robert Mirabal and ETHEL joined students, faculty and staff in the Shearer Dining Rooms for a “Let’s Talk” lunch.

Mirabal is a celebrated Native American musician, who has twice won the Native American Music Awards Artist of the Year.

Mirabal teamed with ETHEL, a string quartet, for the lunch and for the performance later in the day.

The talk started with a piece that incorporated Mirabal playing a traditional Native American flute and ETHEL playing their string instruments.

At points in this song, Mirabal would stop playing the flute and would instead tell stories of his heritage with the strings lightly playing in the background as he talked.

After the first piece, Dorothy Lawson, the cellist and an artistic director of ETHEL, described the group and how they came together.

They then proceeded into their next song, which was a piece based off a Hawaiian children’s song composed of two notes.

The group then added their own lives and relationships into the piece to make the song their own.

Following this song, Mirabal told parts of the story of his life and his heritage. One of the most important things in his culture is food.

Mirabal explained that everything his culture has done somehow revolves around the consumption and production of food. He said, “We are a corn society. When it dies, we die.”

Mirabal also revealed the two main ideas of his culture: trust and belief.

“Trust and believe and you will walk forwards,” he said. Mirabal added that there is no use in going backward, and it is too difficult.

One of the main points that Mirabal made was that he felt his culture was being forced into mainstream American culture, which is causing it to die.

The language that he learned from his elders is not written but is passed down from generation to generation.

With more and more elders passing away, only a small population of people know the language, he said.

“Our metaphorical world is forced into this world,” he continued. “It’s my world, man, and it’s still here.”

Mirabal also explained that he dresses differently than most people in America do because he follows the traditional dress of his family.

For instance, he cuts the tops of his jeans and wears a loincloth over them.

Mirabal also showed that he cuts the soles out of the boots he buys and replaces them with buffalo skin.

He said, “I am a complete juxtaposition. My shoes tell a story.”

Senior Morgan Green enjoyed the performances.

“I really liked how they all meshed so well together,” she said. “You wouldn’t think that they would because of their differences, but they fit so well together.”

“Something cool is how much you can get out of a performance when the group is that connected,” Green continued. “Hearing Mirabal talk about how connected he felt with the earth and his tribe and everything else and then seeing it come into play was inspiring.”

Green was not the only one impacted by the unity of an otherwise diverse group.

Ralph Farris, the artistic director and viola player for ETHEL, talked about how he felt a similar way. “[Mirabal] reconnected me to why I do what I do,” he explained.

Farris said their groups work well together, and they give meaning to all of the music that he produces.

Biomedical sciences come to SU

By Erin McElwee Staff writer

Susquehanna has added a new major to the science department. The major, called biomedical sciences, is for students interested in any medical profession.

Jan Reichard-Brown, associate professor of biology and healthcare studies minor director, said this new major benefits students looking for careers in various areas of the medical field.

“This major will especially benefit the students who may be interested in some of the health professions, particularly medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry and physician assistant,” Reichard-Brown said.

“The pre-requisites for many of the programs in those fields include most of the courses included in the new major,” she added.

The major will also better prepare students for the Medical College Admission Test, which is the standardized entrance exam that students must take to get into medical school.

“The new major will cover all of the course work included in the MCAT,” Reichard-Brown said. “Students should have most of that course work finished by the end of their junior year, so they could take the MCAT sometime in the spring or early summer of their junior year.”

The biomedical science major differs from other biology and health-related majors at Susquehanna, as it is interdisciplinary in nature.

Unlike the biology major, the biomedical studies major integrates courses from other areas like chemistry, physics, psychology and health care.

Reichard-Brown said the major requires less upper-level biology classes than the regular biology major, as there is more inclusion of the other scientific fields of study.

This enables students to get a well-rounded science education.

“The biomedical science major is designed so that if students choose to change their career focus and decide they want to enter the job market or go to graduate school, they should be competitive in several areas such as cell biology, molecular biology or physiology,” Reichard-Brown said.

Reichard-Brown added that students interested in the major should reach out to their advisors. Students interested in any of the health professions are also encouraged to reach out to Reichard-Brown to see how the major would fit with their respective career plans.

Reichard-Brown also pointed out that students can easily make the switch from the new biomedical sciences major to the regular biology major.

The science department at Susquehanna is excited to offer this new pre-professional major and hopes that it will help to expand opportunities for students post-graduation.

New SU president is welcomed to Susquehanna community


The Quill/Kaylyn Jones
The Quill/Kaylyn Jones

By Tessa Woodring News editor

On Nov. 14 Susquehanna announced the new president of the university. Students, faculty and staff gathered in Degenstein Theater to hear the news and meet the new president, Jonathan Green.

A campus-wide email was sent on the morning of the announcement welcoming Susquehanna’s students, faculty and staff to come to Degenstein Theater to “receive an update on Susquehanna University’s presidential search.”

The Chair Elect to the Board of Trustees and the Chair of the Search Committee Sydney Gates started the event by introducing Green and also introducing the committee who helped her select the new president.

Gates introduced Green as someone who “demonstrated passion for the liberal arts” and shared Green’s previous work experience with the audience. She said he was a professor of music previously, which was followed by the start of an applause by an audience member.

Green currently holds the position as the provost and dean of the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois, where he will serve until he takes the place of the current president, L. Jay Lemons, on July 1, 2017.

Prior to working at Illinois Wesleyan, Green served as the dean of the college and vice president for academic affairs at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Virginia.

Green plays multiple instruments and writes his own music as well. However, his main instrument of choice is his voice.

“I was a voice major as an undergraduate in my master’s degree,” Green said. He then added, “I’m an okay pianist, and I played bassoon off and on.”

Green described the type of music he writes as classical. He said that he has written orchestra music and chamber pieces, but has been taking a different approach recently.

“Lately, I’ve been writing a lot of songs because I’ve been engaged with some poetry that’s making me want to move in that direction,” Green said.

Green took the stage and expressed his excitement for the opportunity that he has received from Susquehanna.

He spoke highly of the university to the audience. He spoke of his hopes for Susquehanna and what he wants to do in his time here, all while using the pronoun “we,” signifying his feeling of unity.

Following Green’s speech, Lemons spoke to the audience. “It is just a thrill. I have the same goosebumps that I did 16 years and a few months ago when we were similarly welcomed to this great community,” Lemons said.

Lemons spoke about how he feels Green is a perfect fit for his new position and mentioned that “the best days for Susquehanna are ahead.”

Lemons presented Green and his wife, Lynn Buck, with gifts. Lemons gave Green an orange and maroon-striped neck tie that matched his own. Lemons then went on to say that we must welcome Green the same way we welcomed him many years ago. However, we have to realize they are different people, and they have different styles.

He then presented Green with multiple orange and maroon bow ties similar to the one Green was already wearing. He also gave the couple a bag of Susquehanna-themed goodies.

Lemons ended his speech by mentioning that he learned two things about Green that day that he did not know before.

“One is that he, like me, grew up in a home of two educators. We are kindred spirits and grateful for it,” Lemons said. “Second, he’s a hugger too.”

The announcement ceremony was followed by a reception with food and drinks. Students, faculty and staff were all welcomed to attend this and have a chance to speak to both Green and Lemons.

Book club to hold monthly meeting

By Michelle Seitz Staff Writer

Book Club at the Brew Pub will hold its last meeting of the semester on Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m.

The meeting will be held at the Selin’s Grove Brewing Co. in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

The club will be discussing “Fun Home, A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel, a graphic novel based on Bechdel’s life growing up in rural Pennsylvania that focuses on her complex relationship with her father.

Book Club at the Brew Pub formed earlier this semester and is sponsored by the Student Library Advisory Committee, a student-run club that is supervised by Ryan Ake, outreach and collection development librarian.

“Fun Home, A Family Tragicomic” was chosen after club members made suggestions as to what they wanted to read. A survey was then sent out asking other members their preference of what to read. The majority of what the club reads is short stories and book chapters.

Ake said, “Most [college students] don’t have time to read a 600-page novel in the middle of a semester, so we want to make the readings short but still impactful.”

So far, meetings have gone well, according to organizers.

Close to 20 people have attended the past two meetings. The book club is open to Selinsgrove community members as well as Susquehanna students.

Senior Elieen Gonzalez has been in attendance at the previous meetings.

“The pub readings are a way of bringing students, faculty and staff together to laugh and talk without having the traditional power dynamic of the classroom,” Gonzalez said.

“It’s casual and outside what we normally read for class so we can talk and analyze them in a way that creates a community of readers and thinkers, without the new scholarly critic in the New York Times reviews,” she added.

Meetings are held at the Selin’s Grove Brewing Co., which has been “very accommodating to our large group and are always happy and receptive to bringing us in and making us feel welcome,” Ake said.

Club members can enjoy delicious food as well as discuss the literature reading.

Susquehanna faculty members also attend the club meetings. Ake looks forward to working with them, as the club has read fiction published by faculty members. They also provide in-depth analyses to the readings.

Book Club at the Brew Pub is open to anyone, regardless of whether or not the person has previously attended an event.

“I’m excited to see if we can grow our community group and work to build strong relationships between the university, its students and the town in which we live,” Ake said.

Senior Jess Deibert helped create the club earlier this semester with Ake. If interesetd in further information about the event, contact Deibert.

The Student Library Advisory Committee is also involved in planning the library’s Chill Out event on Dec. 9.

University choral ensembles sing diverse program in concert

By Mathew Washlick Contributing writer

The Susquehanna choral ensembles presented their fall concert in Stretansky Concert Hall on Nov. 13.

According to Julia Thorn, associate professor of music and one of two conductors for the ensembles, the program’s repertoire did not have a theme for this concert.

“It was an opportunity to demonstrate a snapshot of the work that all of the choral ensembles have been doing this semester,” Thorn said.

The program pieces were diverse, featuring works of South African folk background, Baroque chorales and contemporary classics, all in succession.

One of the pieces was “Magnificat,” a work of the Baroque composer Niccola Porpora. The piece consisted of two movements.

The first movement was titled “Magnificat anima mea” and featured the University Chorale soprano and alto group.

The second and final movement, “Et exultavit,” translated as “He Shouted,” featured solo performances by first-years Lena Costello, Lucy Ferruzza and Sarah McMillin.

“For both the soprano/alto chorale and tenor/bass chorale, I tried to select music from a variety of styles, eras and composers,” said Jason Vodicka, assistant professor of music.

“The tenor/bass chorale sang two settings of Psalm texts, one in Hebrew by a contemporary composer and one in German by J. S. Bach,” Vodicka continued.

“They also sang a South African folk song arrangement and an a cappella pop piece,” he added.

Although Thorn said the concert lacked an overall theme, Vodicka decided to give a theme to the pieces selected by one of his groups.

“For the soprano/alto chorale, I selected music around the theme of inclusiveness and hope. They started with Leonard Bernstein’s setting of the Kaddish prayer from his third symphony, which is a prayer of praise said as part of the Jewish funeral rite,” Vodicka said.

“They then continued with a setting of Psalm 121 from Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah.’ Next was Joan Szymko’s setting of St. Teresa of Avila’s prayer ‘Nada te turbe:’ Let nothing frighten you, all things are passing, God never changes,” Vodicka continued.

“The set ended with the gospel piece ‘I am His Child’ by Moses Hogan,” he added.

Vodicka emphasized the importance of selecting texts from artists of many backgrounds.

“I think it’s notable that there are texts here from a variety of religious traditions that deal with hope amid despair and compositions from female, Jewish, gay and African American composers,” Vodicka said.

For Thorn, it was important to join their new singers to the old to create a sound that is blended and balanced across the board.

“The choir has many new faces, so my goal for this semester was to achieve a cohesive sound between the 52 singers as well as maximize musicianship,” Thorn said.

She said her hopes for the concert were for the students to sing to the best of their abilities and enjoy their performance.

For Vodicka, the concert represented a milestone for his chorale, making it a unique experience for them.

Vodicka said: “This concert was unique because it is the first time we have had both a men’s and women’s choir. The [tenor/bass] chorale focused on interacting with and listening to each other as they sang their set. The [soprano/alto] group worked mostly on musical nuance and independence these last few weeks.”

The concert went well for the directors and they were happy with the performance.

“The students did an excellent job and will continue to grow and improve with each rehearsal and additional performances,” Thorn said.

“[I] hope that the singers would have an opportunityto reflect on their accomplishments so far this semester,” Vodicka said. “Sometimes when you’re in the midst of the rehearsal process it’s hard to see how far you’ve come.”

The next event sponsored by the Music Department will be the Symphonic Band concert on Nov. 20 at 2:30 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.