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Concert Week is here! May 11 & 12

"On Wings of Song", the 2018 Spring Concert of the Salt Lake Children's Choir will be on May 11 & 12, 7:30 P.M. at St. Ambrose Catholic Church.

Tickets are also available from your favorite choir member or through Eventbrite

This concert, titled “On Wings of Song,” will feature Felix Mendelssohn’s much-loved work by that name, as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s immortal “Sheep May Safely Graze,” Henry Purcell’s “Sound the Trumpet,” and the transcendent “Im Abendroth” (In Evening Glow) by Franz Schubert, Also heard will be “Die Norske Fjelde” (the Norwegian Mountains”) by Edvard Grieg, the evocative “Mountain Nights” by Hungarian master, Zoltan Kodály, charming music of Scotland and Slovakia–and two beautiful songs from the choir’s private collection of Ukrainian and Russian music (given to the director by a graduate of the Kiev Music Academy). The choir will also sing Woodward’s “Who Has Seen the Wind?,” E. Poldini’s captivating “Dancing Doll,” and will continue it’s long tradition of performing music with Latin American ties with its own “Little Flower” (featuring guest violinist, Everett Petersen) and the Andean favorite, “El Humahuaqueño” (Carnavalito). Following the singing of the Native American “Zuni Planting Song,” combined choirs will join in the ever-popular “Sing” by Joe Raposo. The evening will then conclude with the choir’s own “Evening Prayer” and the traditional “A Day in Spring.”

Spring Concerts 2017



Once again, Spring time is here and our Spring Concert is just around the corner!

7 children smiling and standing in a line

Member of the 2015/16 Salt Lake Children’s Choir

Friday & Saturday, May 12 & 13, 7:30 P.M.

First Presbyterian Church, South Temple & ‘C’ Street

Tickets available at the door, from choir members, or online here.

For addition details about the concert program, please click here.


A Majestic Setting for Wonderful Young Voices

— A Message From our Director on Performing at the Cathedral of The Madeleine

photo 2

On Dec. 2nd and 4th the Salt Lake Children’s Choir will continue its long tradition of performing in the Cathedral of the Madeleine.  It has been suggested that I convey a few thoughts of what this experience is like for me.  Inasmuch as I have been doing this for so long, one might think it may have become simply routine by now.  However, the reality is quite the opposite.

When I first made my proposal in 1984 to then Associate Rector, the Reverend Father, M. Francis Mannion, about a joint concert with my father’s Ralph Woodward Chorale, The Salt Lake Symphony and The Salt Lake Children’s Choir in the Cathedral of the Madeleine it did feel a little audacious. It was indeed a venture ‘into the unknown,’  However, following Father (now Monsignor [retired]) Mannion’s gracious approval and a very successful initial performance, each successive appearance of our choir in this lofty, inspiring space has had its own excitement, electricity and newness.  In fact, every time I and our eager young singers gather in the Cathedral, I am awestruck by the entire setting and the possibilities that await us and our audience.

Indeed, the combination of this majestic setting, with great music and wonderful young voices is something that never grows old for me–or seemingly, for our singers, past and present, or the audiences that return year after year.  As I interact with these young musicians during their singing, witnessing their accomplishment and somehow relating to what they are experiencing, I am inspired and often find myself asking, “How is it that I even get to be here doing this?” It seems the whole experience is a great gift all the way around–one which extends in many directions.  And most certainly, it is largely made possible through the decades-long kindness and support of officials and clergy at the Cathedral of the Madeleine who have so generously allowed us to be their guests.  My sincere appreciation and thanks go to all, young and old, who have allowed me, and so many others, to experience this wonderful tradition for so long.

Wishing all a wonderful Holiday Season,

Ralph B. Woodward, Founder-Director

Salt Lake Children’s Choir

Christmas Concerts 2016

Mark your calendars!

December 2 & 4, 2016:  The choir continues its three decade-long tradition of Christmas concerts in Salt Lake City’s beautiful Cathedral of the Madeleine on Friday and Sunday, Dec. 2 and 4.  The concerts will begin at 8 PM with the choir singing from the loft, and following a processional to the front, will feature music ranging from Palestrina and Bach, to carols old and new from around the world, to music written especially for the choir.  Among familiar carols to be performed are “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “Angels o’er the Fields,” Il e ne le divin Enfant,” and “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” Also heard will be “The Newborn King,” a soulful spiritual,  the exciting “Torches” by British composer, Elaine Hugh-Jones and  “Do You Know What They Sang? by the choir’s director, Ralph B. Woodward.  Following the performance of the sublime “Sleep of the Child Jesus”: by Henri Büesser, the program will conclude with combined choirs and audience joining in several carol favorites. Accompaniment for the concerts will be provided by harpist Lysa Rytting and organist Ken Udy. The public is invited at no charge but admission is limited to those over 6 years of age.

December 5-9, 2016:  Portions from last year’s Cathedral concerts will be aired Monday through Friday, Dec.5-9 at 10 AM and 4:06 PM on KBYU-FM (Classical 89).

December 18, 2016:  The choir’s two ensembles will perform in several less formal settings (including care centers) during the Christmas season and then its final joint  performance will be a Community Christmas Concert (all ages welcome at no charge) Sunday, December 18 at 7:00 PM in the Federal Heights LDS Chapel.–located at Fairfax Road and Virginia Street (across from Shriners Hospital).

Auditions:  The choir is scheduling new-member auditions and invites any interested individuals to take advantage of the above opportunities to hear the choir.

Program Notes – Spring 2016, part 2

More thoughts from Ralph B. Woodward about pieces on the program this weekend.  Please scroll down to previous posts, to find concert details).  Our Choir hopes to see you in the audience!

Dancing Song”  (arr. Zoltán Kodály)

The “Kodaly Method” of music education is still taught world wide.  However, in addition to being a pioneer in the music education of young people, Zoltán Kodály, along with fellow Hungarian Bela Bartok, was an avid researcher and a great composer.  His masterful arrangement of the Hungarian “Táncnóta” (Dancing Song), with its tempo changes, dynamic shifts and electrifying ending, is always a big hit with our singers and audiences.

(For a sneak peek of a past year’s choir singing this number, please click here!)

Olha a Rosa Amarela”  (Brazil)

We have given this Brazilian folk song a Samba treatment–complete with percussion.  (The kids have trouble standing still.)

The Old Chisolm Trail

Not all so-called “cowboy songs’ are authentic (some of the best known actually been written by Eastern songwriters).  But this one really is authentic–and is complete with a fair dose of cowboy humor.  Our young “buckaroos” (especially the littlest ones) enjoy “saddling up” and singing this one.

Wien, du Stadt meiner Träume” (Vienna, City of My Dreams)

This extremely charming waltz by Rudolf Siecynski is much loved throughout the German-speaking world (and beyond) and is a crowd-pleaser wherever and whenever we sing it.

Calypso Loco

This piece, written in the Calypso style, just keeps piling on the parts until it arrives at a state of total “craziness.”

“Evening Prayer

This is a personal favorite–maybe because of the way it came about and the feeling it seems to convey.

A Day in Spring

Our traditional “finale,” when many former choir members come up and participate–always making it a sentimental “spring reunion” for everyone.


Spring Concerts 2015

Mark your calendars!


The Salt Lake Children’s Choir, under the direction of Ralph B. Woodward, will celebrate its 35th Anniversary Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 PM in the First Presbyterian Church (South Temple and ‘C’Street).  The program will include J. S. Bach’s much-loved “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” the sublime “Laudate Dominum” of Mozart,” Franz Schubert’s immortal “To Music,” Benjamin Britten’s setting of the wistful Scottish “Ca’ the Yowes,” “Echoes of Armenia” by Karine Rafael, and traditional spirituals, “Deep River” and “Let Me Fly.” Also heard will be musical treasures from Russia, Switzerland, Namibia and Venezuela–along with Woodward’s own “Peasant Dance” and “Desert Eyes.”

Guest artists are Armenian piano virtuosa, Karine Rafael and jazz greats, Craig and Matt Larson–who will join the choir on the Duke Ellington standard, “I’m Just a Lucky So-and-So.”  The evening will conclude with combined choirs singing “Look to the Rainbow” (from the Broadway musical, Finnegan’s Rainbow), “The Lord Is My Shepherd” and the choir’s traditional “A Day in Spring” joined by choir alumni.

Choir on stage in church. Sunset through stained glass window.

Sunset during the Spring Concert 2013.

Tickets: $10 ($6 students/children).

Advance tickets available from choir members, at Day Murray Music or online here.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the nights of the concert.

Please note that admission limited to those over age 6.  Those desiring further information are invited to call 801-537-1412.  Please share this post to help us reach a wider audience.

* Also noted that the choir is currently scheduling auditions and a sign-up sheet for an audition appointment will be on hand at the concerts.

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!


Choral music enriches a child’s life

Feeling strongly that the study of choral music was beneficial for my children, I wanted to see what supportive evidence was out there. So I Googled, “Why should children study choral music?” These were a few sites that caught my eye:

The Central Coast Children’s Choir web page listed a good number of benefits. I liked what I saw, but I wanted more . . . so I ventured to the Chorister’s Guild, which not only had some information to answer my question, but some helpful suggestions. Still not satisfied I had learned enough, I gathered some interesting insights on the Classics for Kids website. I’m sure there is more out there, but here’s what I learned:

First some benefits:

  • Music is Science, and is exact and specific. This is comforting to my children because it helps them to make sense of the chaotic, ever changing world around them. I think it is safe to say the music brings them peace.
  • Music is Mathematical with its divisions of time into fractions. Who couldn’t use more math practice? Learning a piece of music with its various dynamics is like deciphering a puzzle. It’s great brain exercise, as the mind figures out how all the parts work together to create the final piece.
  • Music is History; it reflects the environments and cultures from the time and place it was created. Any time we study the arts of a particular time period, we gain understanding and empathy for others.
  • Music is a Foreign Language, using symbols to represent ideas. And lyrics are often sung in foreign languages. My children have sung songs in Japanese, German, Russian, Spanish, Navajo and French, to name a few.
  • Music is Physical: it requires good posture, proper breathing, coordination, and muscle control. The body and mind, then, work together, responding to sound as it enters through the ears, interpreting that sound with the mind, and producing the notes their eyes see.
  • Music is Critical Thinking. It provides the opportunity to develop insight and requires thought to understand the lyrics and create the music’s dynamics.
  • Music is Emotional and it is Art: It involves all of our being. The child enters a creative zone as he focuses intently and puts forth concentrated effort, making it a good stress release. The musician has a passionate, whole body experience. And she gives a performance that serves self and the community as it heightens the life experience for both. Let’s just say, music is joy.

 The benefits go deeper

As you can see, the benefits go far beyond musical skill. The experience enriches many facets of a child’s life and opens doors to many other skills.

  • Studies prove that participation in choir, band, and orchestra raises student IQ and improves the ability to think and reason. The students also have higher SAT scores. And the longer students participate in musical programs, the greater the impact on their learning.
  • Music performance uses almost every part of the brain because a person must synthesize an array of skills and concepts.
  • The choral setting provides emotional and social growth. The individual and team work required provide members an understanding of self and others. This also translates to success in the child’s future workplace.
  • Students learn to make good judgments.
  • They learn that problems have multiple solutions; they do the problem solving and they realize there are unanticipated solutions to be discovered.
  • They learn to say poetically what cannot be communicated with standard methods.
  • Children learn what’s important. They learn to dig into the details, and then step back and get the big picture as well.