By LORRAINE U. MARTINELLE
The Hill is alive … with the sound of music!
Bison Singers, an 11-member group of Nichols College students, launched at the start of spring semester and has spent the past couple months learning music and vocal techniques. In fact, their rehearsals are often enjoyed by those working in the library. (The group auditions in the library auditorium.)
The chorus will perform its first concert Monday, April 29, at 7 p.m. in Daniels Auditorium.
Nichols Adjunct Music Instructor Charles J. Pietrello recently told Heard on The Hill that the group formed this semester due to increased student interest in music courses.
When I was hired at Nichols three semesters ago, I was asked if there would be a class I’d like to add in the future,” he said. “My answer was a resounding ‘yes,’ as I have built choruses and music programs in the past.”
Pietrello has a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in education. He began teaching music in 1981 at Our Lady of Nazareth Academy in Wakefield, Mass. He later moved to the Hamilton-Wenham School District, and, finally, to the Auburn Public School District, where he was director of fine arts and the high school’s choral director. Pietrello is also a tenor member of the Worcester Chorus, part of the Central Massachusetts Choral Consortium.
“Over the years I have also taught private voice lessons, directed a number of church choirs, directed musicals and plays, and founded and direct the Greater Auburn Community Chorus,” said Pietrello.
The 11 students who form the Bison Singers are: Nick Baldino, Christine Collins, Emily Eagan, Emily Hamill, Kathleen Hamilton, Kionna Hazzard, Sydney Jordan, Destinee Kamara, Elise Pond, Hunter Walker, and Ariannah Zagabe.
Their April 29 concert will feature Broadway songs. Among them will be “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton; “Step One” from Kinky Boots; “What I Did for Love,” from A Chorus Line; and songs from Phantom of the Opera.
Collins, a first-year human resource management student from Newton, Mass., sang in high school and is happy to have the opportunity to continue to do so in college.
“Bison Singers is a great way to showcase our talent and express our creativity,” she said.
Pietrello has big plans for the group.
“I hope to build up the numbers next year. I plan to do at least one concert a semester, with the hopes of adding a second concert as the program grows and becomes a part of the campus life,” he said.
Lorraine U. Martinelle is director of public relations and social media at Nichols College in Dudley, Mass. Share story ideas via email at Lorraine.Martinelle@nichols.edu.