October 12, 2008

S.L. Choral Artists Conductor is Confident in His Group

By Edward Reichel Deseret News

Conductor Brady Allred has a lot of confidence in his Salt Lake Choral Artists.

There is no other way to explain it after one has had a chance to glance at the new season. "I'm trying to stretch the choir and the audience," he told the Deseret News.

And the choir members don't seem to mind one bit.

They will have their hands full at the first of their four concerts this season. Titled "Multicultural Celebration," the concert, which takes place Saturday in Libby Gardner Concert Hall, is a musical journey through parts of Africa, Latin America and the Pacific Rim.

"Ever since I took part in the World Choral Symposium, where I was exposed to Latin American and African music, I've been turned on by it quite a bit," Allred said. "I try to program at least some music from those parts of the world every year."

Saturday's concert will include music from the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, Tonga and Australia. "We counted it up, and the choir will be singing in 12 different languages. I think by the time they're through, they'll be happy to sing in Latin again."

Allred admitted that having the choir sing in so many different languages is difficult, but he'll facilitate it by dividing his ensemble into three separate choirs: women's, chamber and concert choirs, with each singing their own set of pieces.

There will also be selections from two works by David Fanshawe: "Pacific Songs" and "African Sanctus.""In both of these works, Fanshawe takes the music of indigenous people, which he gathered and recorded himself, and incorporates it into his compositions," Allred explained. "It's really quite ingenious the way he interpolates and unifies different cultures into one work."

In December, the Salt Lake Choral Artists will perform a more traditional concert with Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Hodie" on the program. This will be a joint concert with the Salt Lake Symphony and the Madeleine Choir School. Joining them will be soloists Carol Ann Allred, soprano; Todd Miller, tenor; and Darrell Babidge, baritone.

The two concerts next year focus on contemporary works. In February 2009, Allred and the choir will perform Arvo Part's Te Deum. "I've done it twice before, and it's a wonderful crossover piece," Allred said. "Classical musicians like it because Part bases the work on Gregorian chant, and new age people like it because it's a very mystical and atmospheric piece."

For this performance, Allred will follow Part's original scoring which calls for three choirs, strings, harp and prepared piano. The Choral Artists will be joined by the University of Utah Singers, who also will sing some Eastern European folk music as they prepare for their Eastern European tour next May.

Closing out the season in May 2009 will be Mark Grey's "Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio," which was premiered this past February by the Phoenix Symphony in Tucson. "It was also performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival in summer, so this will be its third performance," Allred said.

Allred became aware of the piece when a former student of his went to Arizona to work on his master's degree in musicology, joined the Phoenix Symphony Chorus and sang at the premiere. "He told me about it, and I think it's a great piece to play here in Utah with our native population."

Below is a rundown of the concerts. All programs begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place in Libby Gardner Concert Hall:

Saturday -- "Multicultural Celebration:" Music from Africa, Latin America and the Pacific Rim; David Fanshawe, "Pacific Songs" and "African Sanctus."

Dec. 20 -- Ralph Vaughan Williams, "Hodie"; traditional holiday songs.

Feb. 21, 2009 -- Arvo Part, Te Deum; folk music from Eastern Europe.

May 2, 2009 -- Mark Grey, "Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio."

If you go ...

What: Multicultural Celebration with the Salt Lake Choral Artists, Brady Allred, conductor

Where: Libby Gardner Concert Hall, University of Utah

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

How much: $52 general admission, $35 senior citizens and students (season passes); $18.75 general admission, $12.75 senior citizens and students (individual tickets)

Phone: 581-7100

Web: saltlakechoralartists.org

E-mail: [email protected]

(c) 2008 Deseret News (Salt Lake City). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.