A Tapestry of American Song: BYU Singers Concert Last Night

Wow!  Last Night, we put on a smashing performance.  Honestly, it was one of the finest concerts I’ve ever been privileged to participate in.  We had some flubs, but it was still an incredible night of music.  I was surprised that we went over two hours for the concert.  I didn’t think it was that long.

Our theme, of course, was American choral music (with a few exceptions).  Here’s the program:

Why Do I Sing? – Ronald Staheli

Noteworthy 18th & 19th Century Composers
Kittery – William Billings
Art Thou Troubled – William Billings
Psalm 42 – George Chadwick

Sacred Concert Music by Eminent Composer
Glory to God in the Highest – Randal Thompson
O vis aeternitatis – Frank Ferko

American Anthems
Ye Shall Go Out with Joy – Hank Beebe
O Lord, I Would Hear Thy Word – Merrill Bradshaw
The Rune of Hospitality – Alf Houkom
A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief – arr. Ronald Staheli


The Columbus Connection: Music from the Spanish Renaissance
Duo Seraphim – Francisco Guerrero
Laudate Dominum omens gentes – Tomas Luis de Victoria

American Composers at the Theater
Hold On – Lucy Simon
Children Will Listen – Stephen Sondheim

New Compositions based on African American Spirituals
So I’ll Sing with My Voice – arr. Dominick Argento
Crucifixion – Adolphus Hailstork

Now in Vogue
Northern Lights – Ola Gjeilo
Water Night – Eric Whitacre

Reason for Singing
Let Singing Lift our Hearts Above – George Frederic Handel
VoiceDance IV – Greg Jasperse
Why We Sing – Greg Gilpin
Why Do I Sing? – Ronald Staheli

As you can see, it was a hefty, packed program with difficult music throughout.  The best part?  Out of these 21 pieces only 6 of them were from last semester’s repertoire.  We learned, memorized, and polished 15 new pieces of music since we got back from Christmas break.  I know there are a bunch of other great choirs out there that can do the same things.  Still, we’re very happy with what we accomplished.  One of the highlights for me was the Ferko piece, “O vis aeternitatis.”  I love that piece so much and last night’s performance was probably the best we’ve ever sung it.  In tune, free and expressive.  During the performance I kept thinking, “Wow!  This is the best this has ever been!  This is exactly the way I dreamed it would be!”  It was so good I started shaking, which didn’t help because I had to conduct the very next piece!

We’ve got a few more performances left in Utah (and Wyoming) before we leave for our tour to southern England.  I’m so excited to take this program with us!  We’ve got more music to learn still, including Laurdisen’s “Sure on this Shining Night.”  Thank goodness Monday is a holiday!


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