Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Salt Lake Vocal Artists to perform at national ACDA conference

Salt Lake Vocal Artists

A former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member described the Salt Lake Vocal Artists performance as "enthusiastic" and "professional grade."

Under the baton of Dr. Brady Allred, the A Cappella choir will perform February 23, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church, 777 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City. The performance, called "The Singing Heart," will also include Ko Matsushita and the Metropolitan Chorus of Tokyo.

Later that week the two choirs will perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) national conference in Salt Lake City. The ACDA conference program will include a half dozen songs by the Salt Lake Vocal Artists, including three that were commissioned for the choir.

I Cannot Dance, composed by Canadian Larry Nickel, includes a solo by Jennifer Williamson.

I cannot dance O' Lord,
Unless You lead me
If You want me to leap joyfully,
Let me see You dance and sing

The choir uses Singing Bowls from Crystal Tones in their performance of Eriks Esenvalds' Stars. The bowls add magic to a beautiful performance of Esenvalds' music and lyrics adapted from a poem by Sara Teasdale (1920). Latvian EĊĦenvalds is one of the most sought-after choral composers working today.

Alone in the night 
On a dark hill 
With pines around me 
Spicy and still,

Another piece, beautifully performed by the choir, is Alleluia by American composer Jake Runestad. An online description of the music says: "Through history, the singing of 'alleluia' has served as an outward celebration as well as an introspective prayer of praise,... The work begins with a rhythmic declaration of joy and builds intensity through metric changes, tonal shifts, glissandi, and hand clapping. This lively exultation soon gives way to a reverent meditation with soaring melodic lines and lush harmonies. The dancing rhythms from the beginning return with a gradual build in intensity as one’s praises rise to the sky. Click to hear the choir's performance of Alleluia.

Organized under the direction of Dr. Brady Allred in 2010, the Salt Lake Vocal Artists has become the first professional-level touring and recording choir within the Salt Lake Choral Artists organization. This mixed-voice choral ensemble varies in size depending on the project from 16 to 40 auditioned singers and performs a diverse repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st Century.

In its premiere season, the SL Vocal Artists were honored with an invitation to participate in the 42nd Tolosa Choral Contest in October 2010. After a successful concert tour of the Basque region of Spain, the SLVA competed against renowned choirs from all over the world and were awarded First Prize in all four categories they entered, as well as the special Audience Prize.

To conclude only its second season, the SL Vocal Artists were one of only 25 choirs and the only American choir to perform at the World Choral Symposium in Argentina following a two week concert tour of the country in July and August. They also traveled by invitation to Italy in September to compete in the Arezzo International Choral Competition where they won 5 first prizes, and as a featured choir for the Concordia Vocis music festival in Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy.

In addition to debuting at the national ACDA conference in February, the choir will travel in June 2015 to Aachen, Germany as the featured international choir for the Chor Biennale and to The Netherlands for additional concerts with the choirs of Dion Ritten.

Prior to resigning in October 2010, Dr. Allred served as the Director of Choral Studies at the University of Utah, where he conducted the award-winning University of Utah Singers and the A Cappella Choir. Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SLVocalArtists

Brady Allred and Stefan Kaltenbock

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