By Benjamin Pontz, Editor-in-Chief
A chamber choir composed of just over a dozen college students — including five who attend or recently graduated from Gettysburg College — will perform a concert on Sunday afternoon, July 22, at Christ Lutheran Church in Gettysburg beginning at 4:00 p.m.
Lux, Latin for “light,” is a student-conceived and student-run choir directed by Robby Napoli ’19, a music education major in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg, that has performed since 2014 when a group of high school classmates from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, wanted to perform a piece they would not in their high school choir and formed their own group to do so. Since then, Lux has programmed seven seasons of music and released two albums.
Napoli said that the group rehearses twice per week during the summer months when its members — who, aside from those at Gettysburg, mostly attend the University of Maryland — are out of school. Membership is drawn from Napoli’s friends and the friends of other singers in the group. Currently, there are 20-22 members on the roster, and between 16 and 18 perform at a time. On Sunday, that will include recent graduate Nicole Densmoor ’18 as well as current students Napoli, Eby Buscher ’19, Austin Nikirk ’20, and Hannah Kolarik ’20.
The program is entitled “A Journey of Life” and, according to the group’s website, will include works from the likes of contemporary choral composer Eric Whitacre, whose masterwork “Lux Aurumque” helped inspire the name of the group, as well as Napoli, who arranged “Lux Aeterna” for a commission by the Gettysburg College Choir. The piece will be performed in honor of Zachary Misleh, a high school classmate for many of the group’s members at DeMatha Catholic, who died in 2017.
The concert program for Lux’s Summer 2018 concert: A Journey of Life
Napoli said the group aspires to be “slowly moving towards going professional,” but he acknowledges that can be a slow process. Nevertheless, Whitacre is among the professional composers who have praised the group’s performances, calling its rendition of his piece “Sainte Chapelle” both “beautiful” and “lovely.”
For all of the accolades and ambition, Napoli wants to ensure the group remains true to its founding purpose.
“It’s really important to us to ensure that we don’t lose sight of why we started doing this in the first place – to sort of lighten the mood, so to speak, of classical music,” Napoli said, “and to just have fun making great music with amazing people.”