Linfield ‘Lift Every Voice’ choir concert conveys hope

The songs from the “Lift Every Voice” performance on Oct. 11 all had hope as their common theme.

“We can’t really be without hope…it is universal,” said Anna Song, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities.

“Lift Every Voice” featured the Linfield Concert Choir, the Wildcat Men’s Glee Club and the Women’s Vocal Ensemble.

There were a variety of songs performed in various languages, including English, Indonesian, French and German.

“MLK” was the second song performed of the night by the Wildcat Men’s Glee Club with soloist Ryan Thompson. The song was composed by the band U2 in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50 anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream Speech.” In the concert’s “Lift Every Voice” program a quote from King is noted: “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

Another song that was performed was called “Dying Soldier” sung by the Linfield Concert Choir with soloist senior Josef Komarek as the voice of the dying soldier. Originally produced in 1962 by Army Chaplain Rev. L. J. Simpson after his brother was killed at Fort Donelson, Tenn.

According to the concert program the song portrays, “hope that frees the dying soldier to face death easily” at the climax of when the choir repeats the words of the soloist, “because I love Jesus.”

The Linfield Concert Choir also shared the strong emotions that come along with being in love with several song selections from the German composer and pianist, Johannes Brahms. From his collection of songs called “Neue Liebeslieder,” the collection’s name means love songs, and the final piece in the collection “Zum Schluss,” meaning in conclusion, closes the collection.

Projecting the ideas of hope and unification between two lovers after a raging emotional storm between two lovers reflected in the earlier songs.

The concert ended with “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

“[The song] served to end the concert on an uplifting note,” Song said.

“As it embodies the kind of hope that, shared, will overcome the darkest of circumstances,” Song said. “It was commonly heard as the rallying cry during the Civil Rights Movement and continues to represent the past and present fight against racism and injustice.”

“There were really wonderful solo voices in the choir,” audience member Myrtle Frick said, whose husband Elmer Frick taught in the Linfield mathematics department for 28 years starting in 1957.

Since then, she has gone to many of the music department’s recitals.

“I thought the concert was very moving,” senior Amber Hay said, who went to support her friends in the concert.

“Overall, I was happy to see some of my friends do so well and I am grateful that they have so much support from both the Linfield community and the McMinnville community,” Hay said.

Mariah Gonzales / Culture editor

Mariah Gonzales can be reached at