Music is a language that most can understand and relate to. No matter what language one may speak, the words, melody and harmonics evoke feelings that are very personal. UVU’s chamber, men’s, women’s and the American International School of Utah Chamber Choir sang a mesmerizing and welcoming spring concert Feb. 8 at the St. Francis Assisi Catholic Church.
The first number called Me NA Ri by Hyo-Won Woo, a South Korean composer, had a western contemporary influence. Reed Criddle, the conductor of the chamber choir, was welcomed by applause from the audience. Criddle led the choir while Ashley Shammy, a senior in vocal performance sang a solo that would make the hair on the nape of your neck stand up. Vocal ranges and the dissonance throughout the opening number were phenomenal.
Isaac Hurtado, a tenor and director of UVU’s opera, sang Ch’ella mi creda by Giacomo Puccini.
The women’s choir, conducted by Cherilyn Worthen, had a tough act to follow. Their singing was unremarkable and the formation was sloppy and distracting. However, they pulled off Il est bel et bon, by Pierre Passereau.
The fourth piece called God Be Merciful Unto Us was composed by Paul Halley. Allison Henschied sang a beautiful soprano solo and Dominik Campora accompanied with the trumpet. Campora’s playing was a nice addition to the song, but his trumpet overpowered the singing. This song had potential, but Henschied’s solo was drowned out by Campora.
“Music is such an integral part of who I am and I feel so strongly about music’s capacity to build communities and support people in different times,” said Erica Glenn, director of performance arts and conductor of the high school chamber choir. “Teens go through a lot, high school can be a difficult time, so the children really resonate with a lot of messages in the songs that we sang today.”
The high school chamber choir began with Ubi Carita by Ola Gjeilo. They sang this song a cappella. Next, they sang Earth Song by Frank Ticheli; the sopranos showcased their abilities. It was a beautiful performance. The choir ended on a solid note with Ticheli’s There Will Be Rest.
Criddle entered the stage again to conduct the chamber choir during a piece called The Spheres by Ola Gjeilo. They surrounded the audience to take advantage of the cathedral acoustics. Their posture was perfect; the dynamics were impeccable. Eventually, Criddle joined the choir while Benjamin Perry came down from the stage to the conduct a piece written by Anton Bruckner called Os Justi. The a cappella singing was clear and precise.
Rebekah Lindsey conducted the final piece of the chamber choir, titled Create in Me by John Purifoy, a composer for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
“I really love Create in Me. It’s just so beautiful and [holds] the idea of being held safely in somebody’s spirit,” said Shammy. The choir was very unified throughout their final piece of the night. It was uplifting and the audience seemed to be entranced by every word sung and every note hit.
The final act of the night was the men’s choir singing Nana de Sevilla by Federico Garcia Lorca. It began with Hurtado singing a solo. Then, the remainder of the men’s choir joined the soloist onstage. The night of music ended with Korobeiniki arranged by Samuel Stokes.
All of the different choirs worked hard and it payed off. Overall the performances were beautiful, uplifting and spiritual.