BYU Winterfest returns to the Conference Center

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They’ve got rhythm.

They’ve got music.

And over the next month they’re taking Salt Lake City by storm.

For the 10th year in a row, BYU performing arts groups will showcase their talents at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake. The performance art festival, Winterfest, will take place over four weekends, from Jan. 28 to Feb. 18.

Winterfest is a special opportunity for BYU performing arts groups that began in 2003. Shane Wright, an artist manager with BYU Performing Arts Management and father of Winterfest, shared a little about the inception of the festival.

“It was back in ‘Light of The World,’ during the 2002 Olympics,” Wright said. “I was talking with David Warner from the Priesthood Department and the idea came up.”

[media-credit name=”Photo by Kenny Crookston” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
BYU Concert Choir, Men's Chorus, Women's Chorus and BYU Singers. Ronald Staheli conducting.
Wright continued to work with Warner toward the goal of having BYU groups perform at the Conference Center Theater. He said in order to perform at the Conference Center groups must be sponsored by someone from Church headquarters. Warner, then chairman of the General Music Committee in the Priesthood Department, acted as the sponsor for BYU’s performing arts groups. With Warner’s help, Wright got permission and in the fall of 2002, World of Dance was invited to perform, which opened the doors for other BYU groups. In January 2003, Winterfest was born.

Wright said the first Winterfest was quite the production — highlighting 14 BYU performing arts groups. After the first year, a rotation was developed to allow a few groups the opportunity to perform their showcases each year.

This year’s all-star lineup includes BYU’s Vocal Point, The Young Ambassadors, BYU Concert Choir and BYU Singers, Contemporary Dance Theatre and BYU’s Theatre Ballet.

Rosiland Hall, director of BYU’s Men’s Chorus, said her choir has some unique pieces in the works for the festival.

“We are going to perform the second movement of the Brahms’ ‘ Requiem’ in a transcription which Brahms himself wrote for two pianos instead of orchestra, which is really interesting,” Hall said. “You don’t often get to hear that.”

Ron Staheli, director of BYU Singers, shared his excitement for the opportunity to perform and said audiences should expect to enjoy the variety of the choral showcase.

“We’re going to sing a wide variety of things; good classical music, but also other things as well,” Staheli said. “I think it’s a concert that almost anyone would really really enjoy.”

Winterfest will take place each Saturday through Feb. 18 at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake. For more information about when each group performs, please visit lds.org/events. Tickets to each event are $10 and are available online at lds.org/events or by phone at 866-537-8457.

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