Spirits soar at Fall Choral Showcase

UVU and Mountain View High School choirs performed many energetic numbers at the showcase, including the world premiere of an arrangement by conductor Dr. Reed Criddle.

Photo provided by UVU Music

            UVU’s music department displayed its many choirs’ musical chops in the Fall Choral Showcase on Oct. 6. The showcase featured several choirs, soloists, conductors and instrumentalists, all of whom received raucous applause for their enchanting performances.

            The first group to perform was UVU Deep Green, a choir composed of tenors, baritones, and basses. Their first number — “Fire” — featured energetic percussion, as well as rhythmic chanting courtesy of the tenor section, imbuing the early evening crowd with their contagious energy.

            After their third number had finished (“Kiss From a Rose,” featuring tenor Gabe Scott in a brilliant a cappella solo), UVU Deep Green exited stage right to be replaced by markedly younger faces — next sang the Mountain View High School Chamber Choir. Somewhat surprisingly, this younger group of singers held their own against the older and more experienced choirs.

            The UVU Chamber Choir performed next, singing four numbers in total. Two of their numbers were particularly striking: the first, “Vårnatt (Spring Night),” featured beautiful legato melodies in Swedish, accompanied by the truly excellent piano of John Sargeant.

The second was a number titled “Let Love Sustain You.” Its performance at the Fall Choral Showcase was the piece’s world premiere. It was arranged and had its lyrics written by conductor Dr. Reed Criddle; the number’s original writer, Dmitri Shostakovich, had died in the 1970s. Criddle, enchanted by the piece and hoping to honor its original composer, arranged this rendition with Shostakovich’s widow’s blessing. The number was beautiful in its somber sound.

Following the UVU Chamber Choir came a tradition of the university choral program — the Senior Spotlight. During such performances, a senior of the music program is given a platform to showcase their talents. This spotlight shone on Linnea Miner Mott and her performance of “Où va la jeune Hindoue,” an energetic soprano number from the opera “Lakmé.” Miner’s technical ability was made clear as her voice replicated the sound of rhythmic bells.

The last choir to perform was the UVU Emerald Singers, a relatively large group of altos and sopranos. While their first and second numbers, “No Time” and “Lullaby” respectively, were beautiful in their own right, the true highlight of the evening was “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down.” The traditional spiritual piece, accompanied once again by pianist John Sargeant, also featured sign language soloists Kylie Campbell and Alexandria Cartmill. The feminist, gospel chorus, aided by thundering piano and enthusiastic performances by both Campbell and Cartmill created an energy that attendees of the showcase will not soon forget.

            The culmination of the evening occurred when each of the choirs reemerged to take the stage one last time, combining for a lively rendition of the iconic blues anthem, “They’re Red Hot.” When conductor Criddle asked the audience to rise and join in on the percussive choreography, not a soul remained seated, not even University President Tuminez, who could be seen dancing and clapping enthusiastically on the balcony above the stage.

            UVU’s Fall Choral Showcase was a smashing success. Those looking to appreciate and support the choral program further can attend Chamber Choir in Concert on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in The Noorda.

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