Choirs join for showcase

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BYU’s got talent, especially in the choral department.

The Choir Showcase is the premiere choir concert of the semester, bringing together BYU Singers, Concert Choir, Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorus.  The showcase marks the first formal concert of the fall, a chance for each choir to perform a preview of their pieces for the coming semester.

Each respective choir has their own line-up, largely featuring religious pieces in contemporary styles.  They also bring their own style and signature to the round-up, providing an interesting blend of BYU’s elite choral talent.

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BYU's Women's Chorus practices in the Harris Fine Art Center on Wednesday. The BYU choirs are participating in The Choir Showcase this Friday at 7:30 at the Harris Fine Art Center.

Men’s Chorus is known for bringing a distinctive flair to their performances. They are the largest collegiate male choir in the country, with nearly 200 members.  Under the direction of conductor Rosalind Hall, Men’s Chorus has been known to steal the show.  Their line-up for Thursday includes “The Impossible Dream” from the musical Man of La Mancha,” “All Creatures of Our God and King” and a song from the film “Paint Your Wagon.”

Eric Noyes, a music education major in Men’s Chorus, described the “Paint Your Wagon” piece as a highlight of the group’s selection in the showcase.

“It features what Sister Hall calls ‘Choralography,'” Noyes said.  “There’s dancing, even line dancers, people playing spoons and the fiddle.”

Being the first concert of the season, the showcase marks the first formal experience for new choir members.  Noyes, a new member of Men’s Chorus, described his experience thus far as educational and uplifting.

“It’s really fun to sing with 200 other guys, almost a brotherhood,” Noyes said.  “There’s great unity when we’re all focused. ”

Concert choir will perform with Men’s Chorus at the showcase.  As a combined choir of both male and female voices, they focus on more religious and spiritual pieces.  They most recently performed at last week’s Devotional, but this will be their first formal concert of the semester.

Claire Haynie, a member of Concert Choir and a junior from Seattle,  described the religious tone of Concert Choir’s lineup.

“Most of our pieces are sacred in nature, but there are still a lot of opportunities for audience interaction — places where the audience can join in,” Haynie said.

Among new goals and directions for the upcoming season, Concert Choir is aiming to enhance the audience’s experience during this concert.

“We’re focusing on being accessible to the audience, no stuffy literature,” Haynie said. “We want anyone who comes to be able to feel the Spirit.”

Women’s Chorus is best known for their signature energetic and spirited style, under conductor Jean Applonie.  Having just celebrated its 50th anniversary last spring, their performance at the showcase will feature a line-up with unique contrast.

Mariah Wilson, the graduate assistant to Applonie in Women’s Chorus, explained the intended contrast of the selection.

One of the numbers being performed is “Ave Maria,” a piece with a somber, morose tone, but they will also sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a notably happy, easygoing piece, Wilson said.

This will be the only opportunity to see all four choirs perform together until the Christmas concert.  Combined, all four choirs will be performing “Nearer My God to Thee” and “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.”

The showcase is tonight at 7:30 in the de Jong Concert Hall.  Tickets are available at the HFAC ticket office.

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