Manchester University
Oak Leaves

October 4, 2019

Students and Alumni to Sing Together during Homecoming

Erin Hickle


“Orange Juice with Attitude” is one of the various songs that will be heard during the annual Alumni Choir and Band Performance. As part of the many festivities on campus for Homecoming, the Manchester University choir and band put together a concert where alumni are welcome to attend or even participate during the performance themselves. 

Every year Manchester University welcomes many alumni back to campus with a variety of activities. Dr. Debra Lynn, Manchester University’s choir director, and Dr. Scott Humphries, MU’s band director, come together to create a concert for Homecoming every year. Those alumni who enjoy singing or playing an instrument are welcome not only attend the concert but be a part of the performance as well.

Students on campus have been preparing for this performance for weeks, but the alumni who choose to participate in the concert will only have one rehearsal the day of the concert to prepare. Alumni can arrive early on Friday, Oct. 11, to Wine Recital Hall for a choir or band rehearsal before taking the stage in 
Cordier at 7:30 that same evening. “It’s a little bit tricky because the current students are rehearsing now but the alumni members have to come in and sight read the music,” Lynn said. “It’s kind of a mad rush to get the rehearsal done.” 

The music is different every year. This year the choir’s music has a multinational theme. There is a French piece, an African piece, an Irish piece and many other pieces of music from various countries. The Jazz band will also be performing at the concert with their opening number titled “Orange Juice with Attitude.” The Manchester University band and choir will also come together to perform “My Fellow Americans” written by Lynn herself. She has included words from President Abraham Lincoln’s and President John F. Kennedy’s second inaugural speeches within the lyrics of the song. 

The band and choir have had success in the past with drawing a crowd to this performance, as many families and alumni that are on campus have attended the concert in the past as a part of the Homecoming festivities. They also have had success with alumni participation within the concert. 

The music department encourages all alumni to join in on the performance, regardless of their graduated field of work or participation in the music department during their time here. “To me one of the neat things about this concert is that is shows how well trained our students are here,” Lynn said. “You know they graduate and come back and are able to pick up the music an hour before the concert and are able to perform it. It’s a testament to the kind of music we do here in the music department. It’s something that is unique about Manchester’s music ensemble is that we rely on our music and nonmusical networks.”

The concert is scheduled for Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Cordier Auditorium. The performance usually runs about 60 to 70 minutes long.