Chamber Singers to perform 33rd annual Cathedral Concert


Caitlin Leiker

The Chamber Singers practice for the Cathedral Concert.

The Chamber Singers will perform with Fort Hays State University’s choirs and other music department faculty at 3:30pm on Dec. 2 at St. Fidelis Basilica in Victoria, Kansas. The concert is free of charge.

Current FHSU choral conductor Terry Crull said the congregation of St. Fidelis and the FHSU choral department wanted to present a concert for the holiday season in the beautiful sanctuary. This led to David Rasmussen, the FHSU choral conductor in 1986, starting the tradition.

“Being on the first weekend of advent, the Cathedral Concert is a great way to start the advent season,” Crull said. “Choral music is well-suited for the reverberant chapel.”

The Cathedral Concert was originally an FHSU production, but former HHS choral director Johnny Matlock was invited to be a part of the tradition during his second year teaching at the school.

“It was a big rehearsal commitment to be part of this event,” Matlock said. “The collaboration was a success and we were asked to return the next year.”

The tradition has not only provided memorable experiences for the directors, but for the students as well, whether they were performing or in the audience.

Senior Garrett Cole has performed in St. Fidelis Basilica for other concerts, but this is his first time performing there with the Chamber Singers. He said he couldn’t be more excited.

“Since I first switched schools my sophomore year, I’ve done nothing but look up to the Chamber Singers, and the Cathedral Concerts were my absolute favorite to listen to,” Cole said. “Nothing quite reaches the level of joy that the Chamber Singers bring. I hope to give the same effect to the audience that previous Chamber Singers have given to me: entranced and held captive by the music.”

Senior Cade Swayne said singing in the cathedral feels like singing in a cave because of the brief two seconds of silence as the noise rings throughout the room.

“It gives me chills every time,” Swayne said. “I’m both excited and sad for this concert. I’ll probably never get the chance to sing in a place like this in my life again.”

Matlock said there’s no way he’s missing this year’s Cathedral Concert.

“Anytime I listen to music, but especially when I am taking in a concert, I feel I am putting life into myself,” Matlock said. “I look forward to basking in the beauty of that sacred space and taking in the beautiful sounds. I am sure I will have a big smile as I enjoy the success of all the Hays High students performing.”