It was hauntingly beautiful.
On February 13, ten members of the King’s Chorus, cloaked in black robes, silently marched into the third floor stacks of the Killam Library.
The group formed a circle and began to sing a capella. The first song was a Gregorian chant, Salve Regina. The second song was a hymn about winter, which was chosen for the weather, and the last song was a round based on a text from Psalm 137.
“We’ve had the idea to do something like this for a long time. We’ve always found the Killam possesses an eerie beauty when no one is there, and wanted to take advantage of that,” says Will Pearson, member of the Kings Chorus. “There is also something ruthless about the space; it is so quiet, and sometimes so tense because of all the fretful studying, so we envisioned the concert as a kind of cathartic activity for the books and the space. It was also an attempt to re-imagine the purpose of library space, and challenge its most sacred taboo, that of silence. We thought the books would like a bit of music.”
The performance lasted roughly ten minutes. Once they were finished, they left the third floor stacks as silently as they arrived, and exited the building.
“We were grateful for the chance to bring our music into a space that is usually so silent. It made the songs more significant and powerful,” says Will. “We decided to sing in the literature section. Hopefully the thousands of characters in all those books enjoyed our performance.”
Next up for the King Chorus, a concert based on the first song they sang, Salve Regina, on March 28th at First Baptist Church, starting at 7:30 p.m.
More details can be found on the Kings Chorus website.