By Briana Hallstrom
In a culminating performance, the BYU Women”s Chorus will perform tonight in the de Jong Concert Hall, ending a year marked with spiritual growth and sisterhood.
Under the direction of Vicki McMurray, the concert will feature selections ranging from the 11th century to recent compositions, and everything in between.
“We are doing a concert with a wide variety of styles,” she said. “There should be something for everyone.”
McMurray said this performance punctuates a year of growth for the group, as they had opportunities to participate in both the General Relief Society meeting last September and the “Alliance World Festival for Women Singing” in early February. McMurray said both events helped to strengthen the women as an ensemble from both a choral and spiritual standpoint.
“Those two experiences have really been an unusual situation for the Women”s Chorus,” she said. “We don”t normally have those opportunities.”
With the General Relief Society meeting so soon in the year, McMurray said it forced them to all come together much sooner than normal.
“It really created a spiritual focus in the choir that has permeated through our entire year,” she said. “It has been a wonderful experience for everyone because we so quickly came together for a common purpose of service to the women of the church.”
When the international festival came four months later, McMurray said it only reinforced that common purpose.
“To come to the festival and be there with women who were not members of the church has been an unusual and remarkable experience for everyone,” she said. “It has brought the choir very close together, and there”s a great bond of sisterhood that comes through in the way they sing. They love to sing with each other because of those wonderful experiences they have had.”
Ordinarily, directors of the choral programs at BYU are graduate students that rotate every semester. This year, however, McMurray directed the women for the full year, allowing a mother-daughter relationship to develop between her and the women.
“There”s almost 200 girls in the choir and she knows every single one of us by name,” said Katie Houston, 20, majoring in music education. “She”s a mother figure to everyone.”
Houston said the group”s success is largely because of McMurray.
“Vicki worked harder than anyone,” she said. “She doesn”t sleep, because she”s always thinking about us.”
Emily Kinghorn, 19, majoring in music education, agrees that McMurray is the backbone of the choir.
“She exudes womanly characteristics,” she said. “She cares about us, and we can feel it.”
Kinghorn said she had originally tried to participate in a different choral group, but now she could not be happier with where she is.
“It”s been one of the best experiences of my life,” she said.
McMurray said she is grateful for the opportunity she has had to direct the women for two semesters.
“It”s an incredible group of young women,” she said. “They”re powerful because of their great virtue and great goodness.”
Tonight”s performance is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Harris Fine arts Ticket office and are $6 with a BYU I.D.