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SPERA And Friends Concert

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Saturday, March 23, 2024 3pm

221 Columbia Avenue, Holland, MI 49423

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The Hope College Vocal Ensemble SPERA will perform with Las Almas and the 8th Grade Treble Singers from Macatawa Bay Middle School on Saturday, March 23, at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

“We are excited to bring these three choral communities together as one to celebrate a love of music across generations,” said SPERA director Pam Pierson.

Each choir will perform music of its own, perform with one another and sing together as one choir. Members of SPERA and Las Almas have visited the classroom of the 8th Grade Treble Singers to engage with them as they learn the music they will perform together.

The program features a variety of genres from different countries, different composers spanning centuries and even different languages, as SPERA opens the concert with a song in Persian, “We Have Come.” SPERA’s other works include a Syrian protest song and the ensemble’s version of Lennon and McCartney’s “Hey Jude.”

The 8th Grade Treble Singers will include the traditional work “Will the Circle be Unbroken?” and “Two African Songs” by Mangwani Pulele in their section.

Las Almas’ pieces will include “Will There Really be a ‘Morning,’” featuring text by Emily Dickinson to music composed by Craig Hella Johnson.

In addition to performing together in different configurations, all three choirs will combine for two works, including closing the program with the African American spiritual, “This Little Light of Mine.”

Las Almas consists of West Ottawa High School alumnae who meet once a week to pursue their joy of singing together. The ensemble was formed in 2019 and is directed by Pierson. Pierson is an adjunct faculty member at Hope and an active adjudicator and clinician.  She conducted the High School SSAA State Honors Choir in 2012, and was the MSVMA Teacher of the Year in 2015. Her choirs have performed numerous times at the Michigan Music Conference and American Choral Directors Association conferences.

The 8th Grade Treble Singers from Macatawa Bay Middle School are directed by Carrie Ledet. They are active performers who routinely receive First Division ratings at the Choral Festival and have appeared at the Michigan Music Conference. Ledet has taught choir, band, orchestra and theater for West Ottawa Public Schools for more than two decades.  She currently serves as a department chair for music at West Ottawa and also teaches adaptive music for grades 6-8.

SPERA is an auditioned 32-member ensemble for treble voice created in 2020. SPERA actively engages with the greater choral community and Hope College.




We Have Come Abbie Betinis (b. 1980)  

Rachel Thomas, Persian translation 

Mark Lopez, riq 

Keegan Young, cello 

Vocal Soloists in appearance order: Nadia Cuthrell, Madelynn Stuck, Annabelle Frederick,  Abigail Morris, Sofia Rosenberger, Laila Jasinkiewicz, Chloe Roberts 

SPERA, Las Almas, and 8th Grade Treble Singers 

Music of Life B. E. Boykin (b. 1989)   text by George Parsons Lathrop  

Allison Shinnick Keep, piano 

8th Grade Treble Singers 

Two African Pieces: Mangwani Mpulele arr. Andrea Ramsey (b. 1980)  Snow Kenneth Riggs (b. 1969)  

Will the Circle be Unbroken? Ada R. Habershon  (1861 - 1918)  

Charles H. Gabriel  

(1856 – 1932)  

Las Almas 

Will There Really Be A “Morning”? Craig Hella Johnson (b. 1963)   text by Emily Dickenson 

I Am the Wind Elaine Hagenberg (b. 1979)   text by Zoe Adkins  

The Caffeine Overload Polka Eric Lane Barnes (b. 1960)  


Lao Rahal Soti (If My Voice Departs) Samih Choukeir (b. 1957)  arr. Shireen Abu-Khader

Steven Awad, Arabic reader 

Chloe Roberts, English translation 

Avery Carlson, soloist 

Hey Jude John Lennon (1940 – 1980)   Paul McCartney (b. 1942)   arr. Deke Sharon  Olivia Goode, soloist 

Where the Light Begins Susan LaBarr (b. 1981)   text by Jan Richardson  

SPERA and Las Almas 

let me listen Dan Forrest (b. 1978)   text by Charles Anthony Silvestri  

David Martin, guitar 

I’m Gonna Sing ‘Til the Spirit Moves In My Heart Moses Hogan (1957 – 2003)  

SPERA, Las Almas, and 8th Grade Treble Singers 

This Little Light of Mine Traditional African American Spiritual   arr. Clifton Noble, Jr.


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