Press Release from Friends of the USU Eastern Music Department
More than 100 high school and junior high students from around the state are working hard this week to prepare for the first ever Eastern Utah Honor Choir Festival to be hosted this weekend at USU Eastern.
USUE Choral director Larry Martin has been diligently recruiting and training rural students from around the state, including local high school and junior high school students, to help make the festival a success. Mr. Martin hopes to build on the legacy of choral excellence in the community and give rural students a unique chance to sing in a polished large ensemble with other choral-loving students. He hopes to make this an annual event and allow students to experience the atmosphere and opportunities available at USU Eastern while reaching new heights of choral excellence and making new friends.
The concert will be hosted Saturday, Nov. 3 at 3 p.m. in the Geary Theater and is free to the public. USU Eastern has recently invested in state-of-the-art choir shells to help project the dulcet tones of the choirs throughout the 500-seat auditorium. The difficult but inspirational repertoire of music features the works of Bruckner, Eric Whitacre, Natalie Sleeth, Benjamin Britten and Sally Albrecht, among others. The combined choirs’ closing number, “The Lord is My Light,” from an African American Heritage Hymnal is likely to be the favorite among singers and audience alike.
The choir festival is under the authorization and guidance of the Utah Music Educator’s Association that promotes choral opportunities for students and teachers throughout the state. However, opportunities for our local students to participate in honor choir festivals have been limited. We are fortunate to have such an event here in our own community.
High school students will be working with guest conductor Dr. Cory Evans, the Director of Choral Activities at USU in Logan. Middle school students will be working with guest conductor Jaron Putnam, choral director at Bear River Middle School in Garland, Utah.
The USU Eastern Choirs joined with community singers and orchestra are also working hard to prepare for this year’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, a rich tradition spanning seven decades. This year marks the 70th year since the first community performance in 1948. The performance will be held at the Carbon High auditorium on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and is free to the public. Mark your calendars also for the Festival of Carols, the USU Eastern Choirs Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 at the Geary Theater.