Seraphic fire presents “under-performed” music

By: Hugh Brien

Franciscan University of Steubenville was blessed to have the talented voices of Seraphic Fire perform in the Christ the King Chapel on Saturday.

“To present high-quality performances of under-performed music with cultural significance,” is the mission statement of chamber choir Seraphic Fire under the direction of Patrick Dupre Quigley.

The group has been successful in this endeavor with two of its albums receiving Grammy nominations this year. Many of the choir members are Grammy nominees themselves, a testament to the choir’s national reputation. This is a feat in an industry devoted to more modern styles of music.

The group performed a number of praise and worship songs from a variety of choir composers.  According to Quigley, a number of composers have had influence on the choir’s sound: Maurice Durufle, a French composer of the 20th Century; Steven Paulus, an American composer of the 20th Century; and Tomas Luis de Victoria, the most influential Spanish composer of the 16th Century.

The most interesting piece in the concert was “Harmonic Delays” by Ingram Marshall.  Originally a techno-tronic piece, the choir rearranged it to have the warps and echoes of the synthesizer replicated by specific singers.  It was done with a surprising effect, creating discordant and harmonious tones at the same time. Though the turnout was relatively small, the audience reaction was resounding.

“It was the most amazing thing I’ve heard in my life,” said freshman Amanda Rodriguez. “It helped me to appreciate it more.”

Shawn Dougherty, chair of the fine arts department at Franciscan, said the administration is trying to have more events like this.

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