February’s First Friday performance was an exceptional group of students from La Porte High School. Their voices drew a crowd from all over the La Porte Hospital.
The Health Care Foundation of La Porte Hospital funds First Fridays as an outreach program to the community. Each performance features local musicians, including ensembles and solo harpists. March’s guest performer will be an organist. They play in the blessed space of the La Porte Hospital Chapel.
“It’s people who are willing to, free of charge, share their talents with the community,” said Mike Gillock, First Fridays Coordinator for the hospital. “This is a chapel so it is a place of worship but it is also a public space. People can come in, relax, and just enjoy the concert.”
The Mixed Chorale sang pieces they had prepared for school events, like the ISSMA competition they had the following day. The program included works like River in Judea by Marcus Feldman, Lamentation of Jeremiah by Stroope, and Lux Aurumque by Whitacre. Most of their songs were sung as a group, with one solo act included.
“It was wonderful,” said guest Bernita Liberatore. She has been coming to First Fridays for years. “The director is wonderful, the kids are wonderful. So attentive. I was involved in music when I was growing up. I think it brings joy to your heart. It’s everything.”
The performance, like most First Fridays, was 45 minutes long.
“It’s always a great opportunity to go out in the community and perform,” said Director Thomas Coe. “The arts are what we live for.”
The students were accompanied by organist Jane DeVries, a choir assistant at their school. The set was largely prepared by the students themselves. Each piece was acapella and similar in bass, but very unique to itself.
The Mixed Chorale, one of six choirs at La Porte High School, does at least two community performances a year. The students love the experience. They agreed that each one makes them a better artist.
“Having an audience helps us a lot,” said High School Junior Joslyn Holt. “And being able to hear ourselves. The acoustics in here are amazing. Music is everything. We get to do something that we love.”
The next First Friday is scheduled for March 3rd. They are free to the public, and anyone with a passion for music is encouraged to attend. The La Porte Hospital Foundation Chapel Fund is made because of the holistic effect music has on the mind, body, and spirit.