Global Music Festival highlights ‘Songs of Spring’

The Renaissance Singers, comprised of Veronique Filloux, Grace Hwang, Maria Massucco, Meg Orita, Jimmy Reese, Jacob Hawk, Chuck Foster, and Robby Eisentrout, take their closing bows after completing their rendition of

Hillary Back/The Daily Northwestern

The Renaissance Singers, comprised of Veronique Filloux, Grace Hwang, Maria Massucco, Meg Orita, Jimmy Reese, Jacob Hawk, Chuck Foster, and Robby Eisentrout, take their closing bows after completing their rendition of "Come falda di neve."

Jeanne Kuang, Assistant Campus Editor

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The Global Languages Initiative launched its first-ever Global Music Festival on Wednesday night with a multilingual concert featuring Northwestern student performers.

The concert, called “Songs of Spring” and attended by 20 people, was the first of three Global Music Festival nights this week. A Palestinian composer and Moroccan singer will perform Thursday, and the festival will conclude Saturday with Northwestern Anubhav, a Hindi film dance team, and Brazilian music.

“We have a wide range of different styles of music represented,” said German Prof. Ingrid Zeller, a member of GLI’s cultural events and student involvement committees. “We wanted to have professional performers from around the world, and also students.”

Zeller assisted in organizing the event and said it came out of the GLI’s desire to hold an event that emphasizes global languages through music. She called music in different languages “a transcultural experience” and said music’s broad appeal could help language students feel cultural interconnectedness.

“Music is often considered sort of a language in its own right,” she said.

The vocalists, including both individual performers and The Renaissance Singers, sang Baroque and classical songs in five different languages in Alice Millar Chapel. The event featured songs in German, French, Italian, Russian and Czech centered on the theme of spring.

“I think it went well.” said Bienen sophomore Lara Saldanha, who organized Wednesday’s event and accompanied several singers on the piano. “It was a first-time event.”

Bienen sophomore Naomi Merer, who also performed at the concert, said the event’s cultural, language-focused perspective on the music was new for her.

“Coming from the music side, because we sing in different languages all the time, it was kind of interesting just to see other people’s reactions to the different languages,” she said.

Although the student concert had a primarily classical European angle because most NU vocalists study that field, Zeller said GLI tried to include as many perspectives as possible and other upcoming events that will give audience members exposure to more languages.

Veronique Filloux, a Bienen sophomore who sang at the concert, said she hopes to see higher attendance in the future.

“Not only is it a great way to hear different languages, but there are also great ways to market it in relation to language courses,” she said. “So I think if we got a bigger audience it’d be really cool.”

Looking forward, Zeller said she would be willing to help organize future music festivals.

“I could definitely see this continuing,” Zeller said. “We will continue to think of ways to involve students.”

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