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TCC Choral Ensemble shows off its versatility

They started with a frottola from the 15th century, evolved into a madrigal from the Renaissance and tossed in opera, an African-American spiritual and even a Beatles song along the way.

The TCC Choral Ensemble’s spring concert featured an eclectic mix of 16 songs about love, life, hope and despair.

“That sums up what music is all about,” said David Warren, director of TCC’s chorus. “Music shows us the spirit of love, life, faith and despair that words cannot express.”

Marco Cara’s Non e tempo, a frottola or the predominant type of Italian popular secular music from the 15th century, opened the program at the Roper Performing Arts Center. The 26 singers and accompanist Mary Letson moved into the Renaissance with “April is my Mistress’ Face” and followed that with a lute song, “Flow my Tears.”

One of the more compelling compositions was Randall Thompson’s “The Road Not Taken,” which set a Robert Frost poem to music.  That was followed by favorite “As Time Goes By.” Eight students also performed a rousing a cappella rendition of the Beatles’ “Let It Be.”

Curtis Smith called the song a “side project,” as the singers created the arrangement independently before presenting it to Warren, who added it to the concert.

“We felt it flowed,” said Smith, a devoted member of the chorus. “I’ve been singing chorus for six years, and I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

The final song, “Satan Down!” an energetic spiritual, featured driving, bouncy rhythms, a feel-good way to end the performance.

The TCC Choral Ensemble welcomes students from all campuses as well as community singers. No prerequisites or auditions are required, although prior choral experience is helpful. Rehearsals are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. until noon on the Norfolk Campus. The class is worth one credit hour and may be repeated for credit.

“I’d encourage many people to join,” said alto section leader Katie Mitchell. “We’re always looking for diversity.”

For more information, call Warren at 757-399-5716 or email him at