UVU choirs stun audience by showcasing local talent

UVU’s Department of Music performed their annual Fall Choral Showcase at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. This concert featured the UVU Chamber Choir, Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir as well as a senior highlight performance on Thursday, Oct. 11.

“These students come from all over campus, from a wide range of majors, with a collective passion for singing and the choral experience,” said Reed Criddle, associate professor and director of choral activities.

The concert began with the Chamber Choir lining the edges of the rounded chapel to sing their first number, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” by Michael Praetorius.

Later in their performance, the Chamber Choir premiered two original songs.

Criddle explained that one of these premieres, “A Buddhist Blessing,” arranged by himself, is based on Chinese chants he heard while studying in a Buddhist monastery. One of the nuns told Criddle she wished there was some way their chants could be heard by Western ears.

The second song premiered in this performance, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by Spanish Fork composer Kameron Kavanaugh, is based on a William Woodsworth poem by the same name.

“The poem itself [inspired me],” Kavanaugh said. “I love trying to collect poetry for things that I can write to… Every once in a while those words just jump out — it was all in the poem.”

Michael Blackburn, who sang in both the Chamber Choir and the Men’s Choir, and conducted one of the pieces , said that “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” was his favorite song they performed (other than the one he conducted, of course).

“That one is so good,” Blackburn said. “I loved how gentle it is. I loved that it’s new and that it’s a Utah composer, that there is that much talent in Spanish Fork, right around the corner. And it’s just the most musical, I think, of all pieces we did. It really sings. It’s like a dance.”

The crowd favorite from the Men’s Choir was “El Grillo” by Josquin Des Prez, which is about a cricket’s songs. This song was preceded by a small, humorous, dance-like exchange. Handheld instruments were played that sounded like crickets and frogs for this pre-performance.

The Women’s Choir performance was bookended with cheerful religious songs, “Jubilate Deo” by Peter Angela and “Ride On, King Jesus” arranged by Moses Hogan. One performer in this choir, Mikayla Alvaro, said these were her favorite songs to perform.

“I loved “Jubilate Deo” because of how fun it was just to sing and the beauty of the song,” Alvaro said. “”Ride On, King Jesus” was just a ton of fun to sing. All of us got really into it… We can just jam into “Ride on.””

These choirs showed off the talent of students and the music program. Blackburn said he thought that it was one of the best concerts UVU has put on.

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