Monthly Archives: November 2014

Christmas 2014 – Program Notes

A few notes from Ralph B. Woodward about selections on the program for this year’s Cathedral Concerts:

A rose in stained glass.

A rose in stained glass.

The only piece the choir has sung every year since its inception is “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” (Es is ein Ros entsprungen).  Apart from its sheer beauty, it seems to have a particular ability bridge the centuries.  Although relatively young in terms of the entire Christian Era (having first appeared around 1600), it is one of the the earlier carols which we sing, and when we do so, I somehow sense we are joining our voices with those of ages past. 

I grew up hearing my mother, a gifted singer and voice teacher, sing the beautiful ” Le sommeil de l’Enfant Jesus (Berceuse pour al Nuit de Noel) by Henri Büsser.   Years later, after founding the choir, I suddenly remembered the piece, asked her about it, and upon locating it, adapted it for use by our choir.  This piece, to which we often refer as simply “Berceuse”, or lullaby, has proven to be a stirring high point of our Christmas concerts ever since.

Other long-standing traditions of our Christmas concerts are the special descants which are sung with the audience at the end of our concerts.  The one to “Silent Night” is partially derived from one my mother created and sang and, as far as I remember, was sung along with our newly-composed “O Come, All Ye Faithful” descant at our inaugural concert in 1979.  Our other carol descants were added not many years later and are, themselves, part of a long-standing tradition.

 

30 Years of Cathedral Concerts

Our 2014 Cathedral Concerts are barely more than a week away.

cathedral interior

Interior Photography of the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Photo by Pedro Szekely.

Did you know the Salt Lake Children’s Choir sang in the Cathedral of the Madeleine for the first time 30 years ago in 1984?   Here’s how Ralph B. Woodward, founder and director, remembers that concert:

It has occurred to me that this December marks the 30th Anniversary of our choir’s first performance in the Cathedral of the Madeleine.  We were still rather new then, and, of course, in awe of the Cathedral.  However, I thought the Cathedral would be the ideal setting for a wonderful work my father had performed at Brigham Young University back in 1955 ( just a couple of years following the work’s actual creation).  The piece, “Une Cantate de Noel” (or Christmas Story) by Swiss Composer, Arthur Honegger calls for full orchestra, mixed choir, baritone soloist, children’s choir, and organ.  I loved the piece – particularly the thrilling way the children’s voices were employed.  Now that I directed a children’s choir and since my father (now retired from BYU) still had the Ralph Woodward Chorale (a fine community ensemble),  I decided to approach Dr. David Dalton, then conductor of the Salt Lake Symphony about a joint performance.  He responded favorably and the orchestra later did, as well.  The next task was to approach then Cathedral Rector, M. Francis Mannion, about the idea–which he fully embraced. At the time, he was interested in opening up the cathedral to more community cultural events, and this suggestion came at the perfect time.

So, on Sunday, Dec. 2, 1984, the program was presented as follows:  

The Salt Lake Symphony, directed by Dr. Dalton opened the evening with the sublime “Adagio in G Minor” for strings and organ by Tomaso Albinoni.  We, The Salt Lake Children’s Choir, then gave unaccompanied  performances of the several carols which would later appear during the course of the Honegger work.  This was then followed by a very stirring performance of Arthur Honegger’s “Une Cantate de Noel,” conducted by my father, Dr. Ralph Woodward.  It was a glorious event for all present, and a wonderful beginning to our long association with the Cathedral of the Madeleine. 

Please join us this year to enjoy this beautiful Salt Lake tradition.  December 5 & 7th, 8:00 P.M. at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

 

Christmas Past and Present

Our 2014 Christmas Cathedral Concerts (details here!) are just around the corner on December 5th and 7th.   Something else to put on your Holiday calendar is a week’s worth of broadcasts from our friends at Classical 89 (KBYU radio).  Each day from December 8th to 12th, at 10:00 A.M. and 4:06 P.M. (just after the BBC news), Classical 89 will broadcast three selections from the live recordings of our 2013 Cathedral Concerts.   The listings for these broadcasts are already posted on Classical 89’s website.   Check there if you had a particular favorite last year that you’d love to hear again.   (The link jumps to the current day’s playlist.  You will have to hit “Next Day” until you come to the day you are interested in.)

If you’d like to have reminders to tune in – follow us on Facebook!

 

KUTV Holiday Pops Concert featuring The Salt Lake Children’s Choir

CASU-Christmas-Concert-Poster-2014Poster-

2014 KUTV Holiday Pops Concert will feature the Salt Lake Children’s Choir as special guests.

This year the Salt Lake Children’s Choir is excited to be appearing as special guests of the Choral Arts Society of Utah in their annual Holiday Pops Concert.  Proceeds from the concert benefit the Salvation Army Angel Tree program.  Please share this post with people you know who would want to support this cause and enjoy this concert.