BYU head of vocal studies to perform ‘Friends of Arden’


The BYU Head of Vocal Studies will be the feature performer for the vocal chamber music concert “Friends of Arden” on Feb. 5.

Arden Hopkin will be singing baritone and bass and will be accompanied by nine faculty members and friends including violinists Alex Woods, Aubrey Woods, Claudine Bigelow and LeeAnn Morgan, cellists Michelle Kesler and Garrick Woods, oboist Geralyn Gioyannetti, organist Douglas Bush and guitarist Lawrence Green.

The title of the performance, “Friends of Arden,” has several hidden meanings. Arden refers to a place in William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” called the Forest of Arden. It was a magical place where the muses lived and poets and musicians could come to receive inspiration from the music. The poets and musicians would leave the forest enchanted by the muses.

It is also ironic to note that Hopkin’s first name is Arden, making it quite appropriate for the performance title.

“My given name literally means ‘a land of romance and enchantment,'” Hopkin said. “I enjoy double meanings, as the program title implies.”

The evening’s program consists of three pieces, Cantata 82, Aires de la Tierra and the Four Psalms.  Each classical piece comes with a background rich in history.

Cantata 82, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, was inspired by the Bible story in which Mary and Joseph take baby Jesus to the temple when Jesus is eight days old. In the temple, Jesus is greeted by Simeon.

“Aires de La Tierra,” composed by Tulio Peramo, was inspired by the beautiful land of Cuba and consists of five pieces.

“The five songs depict regions and experiences of Cuba: the growing of Tobacco in Vueltabajo, the ocean vista, moonlit night in the southern town of Guamä, a Psalm for a dead child and a wild fiesta,” Hopkin said.

The last piece of the evening will be “Four Psalms,” composed by Howard Hanson.

The five Cuban songs, along with the Four Psalms in the baritone voice and string sextet, will be Utah’s premiere performance of the pieces.

Hopkin and the faculty members and friends have enjoyed rehearsing together.

“I have already had pleasure in making music with my colleagues during the rehearsal process,” Hopkin said. “That is one of the special by-products of the chamber music. Together, we look forward to sharing this music with those who attend, and if we do our part well, those who attend will also be inspired by the muses of music and go away enchanted.”

Enter the Forest of Arden at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 5 in the Madsen Recital Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center. Admission is free.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email