Americana: A Choir & Wind Symphony Concert

Date: February 28, 2014
Time: 7:30 PM
Location: Heritage Center Theater, Cedar City, UT
Category: Arts and Entertainment

Suu Music Department Presents

Americana: A Choir & Wind Symphony Concert

February 28, 2014

SUU's Concert Choir in performance.

Photo credit: SUU's Concert Choir in performance. Photo: Asher J. Swan

Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: Join SUU’s Department of Music for a warming wintry evening of song and great music by attending Americana: A Choir & Wind Symphony Concert. The performance features a diverse program performed by SUU’s outstanding vocal and instrumental students including SUU’s Wind Symphony, Concert Choir, Opus Choir, and Women’s Choir. The concert will take place at Cedar City’s Heritage Center Theater on Friday, February 28, 2014, at 7:30 pm. The public is encouraged to attend. Tickets are only $6 for Adults, $4 for SUU faculty/staff, and $3 for youth. SUU students are free with a valid I.D. card.

Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Kevin L. Baker, will be performing a work by one of the first notable, truly American composers, William Billings (1764-1800). His composition “I am the Rose of Sharon” is one of the more commonly done works by this self-taught musician. The John Rutter settings of “Two American Folksongs” include a barn dance tune, “Sourwood Mountain” and a ballad, “Black Sheep.” Two African-American spirituals, “Soon-ah Will be Done” and “I got Shoes” are oft-performed examples of that American genre. Concert Choir will close out their section of the performance with Robert Ray’s rousing gospel work “He Never Failed Me Yet”.

Opus Chamber Choir, also directed by Dr. Baker, will be performing a mixture of Americana literature that includes a set of 3 works by Samuel Barber entitled “Reincarnations.” The Mack Wilberg arrangement of “Old Joe Clark” is Opus’ nod to this early American genre and they will also perform a new work by David Dickau that sets e.e. cummins poem “I carry your heart with me”. This beautiful setting is a touching and refined vehicle for this marvelous text. Finally, Opus will close with Jerome Kern’s “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and two vocal jazz selections made famous by the group Manhattan Transfer; “Tuxedo Junction” and “Operator.” From traditional folk tunes to modern musical masterpieces and vocal jazz, there will be something to appeal to virtually every member of the audience.

Our Americana themed concert will include pieces performed by the SUU Women’s Choir, directed by Shannon Birch. American Baptist minister Robert Lowry wrote the music for the Christian hymn “How Can I Keep from Singing”, a piece now included in several Christian hymnals. The popular standard “Our Love is Here to Stay” by George and Ira Gershwin, was written for the 1938 movie The Goldwyn Follies. The song most famously appeared as the main theme in the 1951 MGM Academy Award-winning Best Picture An American in Paris.

The Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Adam Lambert, will perform the rousing Overture to Candide by Leonard Bernstein. This very fast-paced work featuring the fast-finger virtuosity of our upper woodwinds remains a concert classic that doesn't take itself too seriously, with crazy fast tempos and extreme dynamic ranges. The Wind Symphony also will undertake “Armenian Dances,” one of the all-time greats, composed by Alfred Reed. The composition is comprised of mixed meters and drastic contrasts make this very fun to play and listen to. Finally, there will be “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli is also huge in scope and is also very fun to play, with much of it in a swing blues style. The piece will feature student soloist Kortne Pederson on clarinet in much of the piece.

Celebrate a great evening of American music with Americana: A Choir & Wind Symphony Concert featuring SUU’s Wind Symphony, Concert Choir, Opus Choir, and Women’s Choir. For more information on the SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts events, please visit