Sacred Arts Festival premieres dancers, raises hunger awareness

The St. Thomas Concert Choir and Liturgical Choir held its annual Sacred Arts Festival concert on Tuesday, March 13. The festival mixes vocals and instrumentals with other departments such as theater, fine arts and film, but this is the first year dancers were represented.

The two choirs teamed with dance performers to spread awareness about hunger, which highlights the concert’s nourishment theme, through full-choir pieces, solos, dances and readings of poems and statistics about world hunger.

Liturgical Choir Director Aaron Brown said the departments looked at “different dimensions of hunger” to raise awareness of the issue.

“We looked at different readings and different songs that explored both our hunger for God and the hunger that people feel, as well as our responsibility to feed people and to take care of that hunger,” Brown said.

Director of Choral Activites Angela Broeker said the concert started with somber songs and ended with more upbeat songs.

“I think the concert progressed from the ideas of famine and hunger both with the choral pieces we did and with the readings we did and the statistics,” Broeker said. “But as the concert progressed, we ended up at a place of hope that we could change and we could make a difference.”

Freshman Meghan Lowe sang “It Takes a Village” by Joan Szymko as a solo and was accompanied by the rest of the choirs. Lowe said she was unsure of what all the messages and readings would be like before she performed but said that it was “a good message” to listen to.

“I have fun singing no matter what. For me, I like to sing and work with the audience and see what they feel and kind of get that connection,” Lowe said. “And I definitely felt that tonight.”

The audience had the opportunity to connect with the singers through participating in a verse of “Touch the Earth Lightly.”

“For me, those are kind of actually my favorite parts,” Lowe said. “It’s not just the audience sitting and watching then applauding, it’s actually the connection of everyone singing.”

Brown said he enjoys when the Liturgical and the Concert Choirs perform together.

“I love it when all the choirs come together. It’s about 140 students, and they do a great job of coming together,” Brown said.

Josie Oliver can be reached at