Chamber Choir gives stunning performance before heading to NCCO competition

Experience the Judeo-Christian Creation story through the ears of iconic American composer Aaron Copland. Then let Walt Whitman’s “Whispers of Heavenly Death," combined with the haunting melodies of Steven Stucky, bring new life to a glorious Renaissance motet.

The beautiful, eloquent, passionate and uniformed voices of the Chamber Choir echoed throughout the Orem Public Library Friday, Oct. 27, during their performance titled A Breath and A Whisper.

The theme of the performance was about exploring two breathless realms before and after mortality: pre-mortal and post-mortal life. This theme was portrayed in the songs that were performed like Whispers and In the Beginning.

In the Beginning is my favorite song to perform,” chamber choir member and exercise science major Mike Dial said. “The text comes from Genesis. It was written to have people feel the true meaning [of the text].”

In the Beginning is about the creation of the world. Each section of the song coincides with one of the seven days of the creation story. The choir also played a video with images of nature, atoms and the world that the audience could watch on their phone as the choir sang. The song was quite long, but it was very beautiful and moving.

“I really liked the last song [In the Beginning],” concert attendee Maren Gordon said. “I appreciate the dissonance in the song and the soul that was put into it because it was long.”

Another crowd favorite was There Will Never Be Another You. This song — according to Reed Criddle, associate professor and director of choral activities — is inspired by Jazz music. Emmalyn Fox, solo soprano, started the song off strong with her eloquent vocals. As the song continued, the rhythm became more upbeat, which made it different from the other songs that were performed.

There Will Never Be Another You was my favorite number,” concert attendee Lindsey Gordon said. “I liked it because it was upbeat and sounded like jazz music.”

The crowd proceeded the number with loud cheering, claps and whistles of approval.

“Everyone [in the choir] are amazing musicians,” Marilee Dastrup, commercial music junior and chamber choir member, said. “I am excited to go on tour to Louisiana next week to perform at the NCCO with them.”

The Chamber Choir has 32 undergraduate students from various majors and performs music from Renaissance to the modern day. Over the past few years the choir has released four CD’s. They have also toured California, Washington D.C., Hawaii, South Carolina and Louisiana. Next week the choir will travel with Criddle to New Orleans to perform at the national conference of NCCO for the second time.

“Professor Criddle is the best choir director,” Dastrup said.

Criddle has been leading the chamber choir for 8 years, coordinates a choral program of five choirs and conducts the Chamber Choir and Men’s Choir. Recently, he was awarded the UVU School of Arts Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of innovative and student-centered pedagogy.

Stephen M. Pullen, dean of the School of the Arts, is impressed with the talent that is cultivated and refined by the professors at UVU. He is excited for the student’s futures.

“If you’re a lover of the arts like me, you seek to be inspired, to be moved, to be enlightened and maybe even to be changed. Indeed, the arts truly are capable of that kind of powerful impact. … Keep your eye on UVU students in the arts — they’re going places,” Pullen said.

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