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IC Choir Hits the Road

Written by Gillian Smith

Professor Larry Doebler conducts the Ithaca College Choir during his final concert in Ford Hall. Photo by Matt Prokosch.

Ithaca College’s Choir, the premiere choral ensemble made up of 48 singers-soprano, alto, tenor and bass- is also a band of travelling musicians. Or so they were during their 2012 spring break.

Starting March 11, the IC Choir travelled to Albany, NY; Newton, NJ; Setauket, NY; and Glen Spey, NY and back on a whirlwind concert tour.


Professor Larry Doebler conducts the Ithaca College Choir during his final concert in Ford Hall. Professor Doebler has directed the Choir for the past 34 years. Photo by Matt Prokosch '13.

Adiza Jibril, first year choir member, said this year’s tour was a lot of fun and being a member of the choir has truly changed her life and view of music. Not only is the music beautiful, she says, but the whole experience is healing.

“As a singer, Choir has provided m with some truly cathartic moments of creativity during which music was the vehicle through which I could connect not only to my friends and colleagues, but to complete strangers,” Jibril said. “These experiences that we all had on tour were demonstrative of the power of music. It’s something I wish we could share with everyone.”


Adiza Jibril, Vocal Performance '13, performs a solo during the final performance of the Ithaca College Choir under Professor Larry Doebler. Photo by Matt Prokosch '13.

During his 34 years as the director of choral activities, Larry Doebler has developed methods that focus on combining the knowledge gained in singers’ other classes and studies. One of their key techniques is making eye contact with the audience.

“They become fully invested in understanding the text and music so that they can deliver to the audience an experience that is emotionally engaging,” Doebler says. “The goal is to become independent and dependent musicians simultaneously.”


Professor Larry Doebler recognizes Ana Strachan, Vocal Performance '12, during the Ithaca College Choir's final performance with Professor Doebler. Photo by Matt Prokosch '13.

Doebler said each performance has a distinct experience and has an effect on their sound. Some of the major players in the experience are venue and audience. On the last night of the tour, the students were housed in a Tibetan monastery in the Catskills.

“They were very centered for our last concert,” he says. “We grow as musicians and human beings during the tour. It is humbling and exciting.”

Jibril said being at the monastery was her favorite part of the tour, and agreed that she felt so calm during the performance.

“The space was so intimate, that even if you didn’t want to, you had to look at the audience members,” she says. “It was acoustically wonderful, as well.”

Since the tour, the choir has been invited to be the opening concert at the 2012 NYSSMA convention in Rochester. They will also be performing at Lincoln Center on April 19 2013 presenting Poulenc’s Gloria with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra.



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