Matthew Potterton calls spring concert ‘fantastic’

Story by Megan Perry

The First United Methodist Church of Baldwin City opened its doors May 1 to music lovers and appreciators looking to share the spring season conclusions of the Baker University Community and Concert Choirs.

“I thought it was fantastic,” Director of Choral Activities Matthew Potterton said. “Usually I have a theme, but with this concert, we had more of a variety.”

Potterton has been impressed with the quality of effort put forth by his students while working on spring concert pieces throughout the semester.

“This music was much more difficult than what we have done in the past,” Potterton said. “As I continue to raise the bar, though, they continue to not only meet it, but exceed it.”

Potterton’s effort to challenge students has not gone unnoticed.

Sophomore Stephanie Berg is in her second year of the community choir and appreciates the chance to explore more complex pieces of work.

“I liked ‘Awake the Harp’ because of the sixteenth notes,” Berg said. “They were pretty challenging, so it was nice change from our usual dynamics.”

Fairly pleased with the performance and audience turnout, Berg cannot help but to believe the community choir has helped in attracting a local audience.

 ”I saw a lot of staff and faculty and students in the audience,” Berg said. “It is always great to be able to sing for them, but I think by being a community choir, it helps bring in fellow townspeople to the concerts.”

Incorporating the concept of community into the concert, Potterton invited the Wellsville High School choir to sing.  

“I like the idea of bringing in local, area high schools as a way to reach out into the community,” Potterton said. “They were all very exited and nervous. Afterward, their conductor said how the students could not stop talking about it.”

Besides the voices of high school students, Potterton also invited his friend Rachel Samet, from the University of Hawaii, to conduct the musical composition she received her doctorate degree working on.  

“The Chichester Psalms were really cool,” sophomore Krystina Townsend said. “(Samet) was able to bring more of a well-rounded approach to a song. It was fun learning Hebrew, but hard. She came last week to conduct, and we were able to get a hold of her with any questions.”

With a concert filled with a mix of talent and challenging music, Townsend is pleased with the results.

“I feel everything went really well, and we came together 110 percent,” Townsend said.