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The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

A mythical evening with COF chorus and orchestra

The vocals from the chorus bounced off the walls of Wentworth’s Watson Hall, making the performance even more enchanting.
COF+Chorus+%26+Orchestra+virtual+program+cover.
COF Chorus & Orchestra virtual program cover.

The Colleges of the Fenway Chorus brought dragons (and other imaginary creatures) to life on November 29, 2023 with their fall concert.

The show began with a performance of “Songbird” by Sarah Quartel conducted by COF chorus assistant conductor Sam Bruetsch, a student at Simmons University. Bruetsch then welcomed the audience, thanking them for attending.

Alanna Quirk-Aboujaoude,* the community relations and DE&I chair of the COF chorus, joined Bruetsch to say a few words about Brenda Martino, their friend and fellow COF chorus member who tragically passed away last November. Quirk-Aboujaoude ended the brief speech with an uplifting tone by saying that the chorus hopes Martino is watching them with a smile.

The concert’s program included an in memoriam statement for Martino, noting that, “her presence and passion for music left an indelible mark on [the chorus’] hearts” and that “her spirit resonates in the harmonies we create, and we hold her memory with profound reverence.” 

“The Fire Dance of Luna,” tells the story of a world in which people inhabit the moon and was accompanied by MassArt student Jessica Fernandez playing snare and Wentworth student Levana Le on double bass. The vocals from the chorus bounced off the walls of Wentworth’s Watson Hall, making the performance even more enchanting. 

The final song performed by the chorus was “Imaginary Creatures” by Andrea Ramsey. This piece, as explained by conductor Dan Ryan, was written during 2020 while the world was in lockdown. Ryan said that Ramsey turned to the children in her life and asked them to write poems about imaginary creatures, which she then turned into this song.

“Imaginary Creatures” consists of five poems about fairies, mermaids, unicorns, imaginary friends, and dragons. The poems were read by members of a local children’s choir, Boston Voices, and were immediately followed by the chorus’ performance of the songs. This added an adorable touch to the concert.

After a 10 minute intermission, the concert resumed with a performance of “Game of Thrones Title” by the orchestra conducted by the winners of the Buck to Conduct raffle. This raffle was held at the front of the hall and cost $1 to purchase a ticket to win a chance to conduct the song. Two winners were chosen, were given a brief conducting lesson, and the orchestra followed their leads. 

Adding to the dragon theme, the orchestra then played “How to Train Your Dragon,” the theme song for the hit DreamWorks movie of the same name. This song drew the crowd in with trumpet, clarinet, and flute solos from COF students Connor Williams, Max Zalewski, and Emmy O’Coin.

The final song of the orchestra’s performance was “Spirited Away Suite.” While this performance was beautiful, it was extremely long, lasting over 20 minutes. Many audience members seemed to be getting restless during this song.

The chorus joined the orchestra for the last song of the night, O Fortuna from Carmina Burana. The vocals from the chorus blended well with the instruments, making for a great end to the concert. 

Both the COF chorus and orchestra were able to perform songs, selected by conductor Dan Ryan, that encapsulated the creativity behind the show’s theme of dragons (and other imaginary creatures) and pulled the crowd into their own magical world. 

*Alanna Quirk-Aboujaoude is a member of the Voice editorial team. As per our Code of Ethics, Quirk-Aboujaoude was not involved with the editing or publishing process of this piece.

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About the Contributor
Liv Corneyea, Staff Writer
Liv Corneyea (2026, she/her) is a Social Work major in the 3 + 1 program. Outside of the Voice, Liv enjoys reading, listening to music, hanging out with her friends, and dying her hair fun colors. Most importantly, Liv loves her Boston Terrier, Rita, more than she likes most people.

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