Choir men set high standards for concert

Men in the bass section of the Baker University Concert Choir practice speaking in rhythm before the choir sings together to prepare for the fall concert. Director of Choral Activities Matthew Potterton said the male section of the choir is strong this year. The fall concert is at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Baldwin First United Methodist Church.

Men in the bass section of the Baker University Concert Choir practice speaking in rhythm before the choir sings together to prepare for the fall concert. Director of Choral Activities Matthew Potterton said the male section of the choir is strong this year. The fall concert is at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Baldwin First United Methodist Church. Photo by Rachel Dannen.

There is a group of unsung leaders on Baker University’s campus. 

They dedicate themselves to their team, set high personal goals and have been training vigorously for their next big event.

Matthew Potterton, director of choral activities, said this year’s selection of male choir members is a big asset to the group.

“We have about 25 guys in the group who sing bass and tenor,” Potterton said. “I have a strong male section this year, which is exciting.”

For some of the group, choir is what drew them to Baker.

“The big reason I chose Baker was because of choir,” sophomore Tim Laughlin said. “I … really felt that if I didn’t pursue music in college, that I would essentially lose a big chunk of who I am.”

Junior Paul Eltschinger added that choir is a welcome break from academic life.

 “Starting at a young age my parents put me in a children’s choir, and I haven’t stopped singing since,” Eltschinger said. “Choir is also my place to get away from the stress of typical college course-work.”

Above all, choir is a challenge and a place to improve in more than one way, said Laughlin. 

“Dr. Potterton is a great professor with high standards when it comes to preparation and memorization,” Laughlin said. “…You develop not only your voice, but also the person who you will soon become in the future.”

Both Laughlin and Eltschinger are involved in greek life and said other fraternity members are coming to choral events to support their fraternity brothers.

“I actually performed at a forum (Wednesday) and three of my fraternity brothers came to listen to me,” Laughlin said. “The funny thing is that most of my friends are in the concert themselves.”

The choir is preparing for its fall concert, which will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Baldwin First United Methodist Church. Eudora High School Choir and Baldwin City Children’s Choir will participate. Listeners can expect a variety of music.

“I try to find music that spans several historical periods as well as a good blend of fast and slow pieces,” Potterton said. 

According to Laughlin and Eltschinger, long and numerous practices, challenging objectives and adapting to a variety of styles are all worth having a great concert.

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