Tag Archives: Spring

Spring Concert 2017

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

Sunset during the Spring Concert 2013.

The choir’s 2017 spring concerts will be May 12 and 13 at 7:30 PM in Salt Lake City’s beautiful First Presbyterian Church (South Temple and ‘C’ Street).  The program will feature some of the world’s greatest classical songs–including the transcendent “God Is My Shepherd ” and “Nacht und Träume” by Franz Schubert, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s dramatic “Spring Waters,” and the evocative “Ku-loc” (Cow-keeper call) by Norwegian master, Edvard Grieg.  The choir will also conduct its traditional survey of outstanding world music with visits to Scotland, Ireland, France, Slovakia, Norway, Japan, Mexico, and Brazil–including a revival of  the choir’s own exciting setting of the Irish reel, “Follow Me Down to Carlow” and Stephen Hatfield’s international hit arrangement of the Mexican huapango, “Las Amariillas.”  Returning to American shores, the choir will sing “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and will conclude the concert with its own calypso number, “Down by the Seashore,” followed  by “Little Lamb” and “A Day in Spring.”–both by the director.

General Admission: $10.00 ($6.00 students) and admission limited to those age 6 and older. Tickets at Day Murray Music or at the door.  Additional information at 801-537-1412

Program Notes – Spring 2016, part 1

With our major Spring performances coming up at the end of the week, we are pleased to share with you some program notes written by the choir’s founder and director, Ralph B. Woodward.  Hopefully this will give you additional insight and appreciation for the pieces you will hear the choir perform.  We will have notes on additional program pieces throughout the week.

Now Is the Month of Maying” (Thomas Morley)

The 16th Century (the time of Shakespeare) was the golden age of the English Madrigal (secular polyphonic song), and “Now Is the Month of Maying” is among the most famous.  I was contacted not long ago by an English choir director, who had seen us perform it on YouTube asking about the arrangement we use (which happens to be by Jerry Wesley Harris).  So, if she, being from England likes it, I guess we’re on solid footing.  The kids really enjoy singing it.

Song of the Skylark” (Johannes Brahms)

One of the great genres of vocal music is the German Art Song, and I have surveyed virtually all the songs of Schubert, Brahms, Schumann and Mendelssohn in search of material suitable for our choir.  Some which we sing were already familiar to me, but some were not, and may not be to our audiences.  One of these, “Song of the Skylark,” (Lerchengesang), is particularly beautiful in its wistfulness.  The 3 against 4 beat rhythm (choir vs. piano) ads to the song’s poignancy.

Impromptu #2 in E-flat Opus 90  (Franz Schubert)

We are proud to feature brilliant young pianist and choir member, Caleb Spjute performing this extremely virtuosic work.  You may want his autograph after you hear him play (others have).

Blagoslavi dushe moya Ghospoda” (Pavel Chesnokov)

This work (translation: Bless the Lord, my soul), with its rich harmonies and extreme dynamic changes is a fine example of late 19th and early 20th Century Russian liturgical music.

How Excellent Thy Name”  (Howard Hanson)

I first heard this piece sung by a college choir and have liked it ever since.  It’s composer, Howard Hanson was the first director of the Eastman School of Music (where he remained for 40 years) and was one of the pre-eminent American composers of the 20th Century.  The work, whose text is taken from the Psalms, is very evocative and beautiful and I appreciate the remarkable insight our singers bring to it.

Springtime in the Rockies

As the springtime blooms around us,  join the Salt Lake Children’s Choir and director, Ralph B. Woodward, for a beautiful evening of songs from around the world at First Presbyterian Church (South Temple and C Street) on May 13th or 14th, Friday/Saturday at 7:30 P.M.Spring2016 Poster_half size

The program will include art songs of Mendelssohn, Brahms and Franz Schubert–followed by a Schubert Intermezzo for piano performed by brilliant young pianist and choir member, Caleb Spjute.  Also heard will be Zoltan Koday’s fiery setting of the Hungarian “Dancing Song,” and the choir’s a cappella arrangements of the rhythmic “Olha a Rosa Amarela” from Brazil, the Mexican favorite, “Cielito Lindo,” and “El Condor Pasa” from Peru.  Of special interest will be the rich sonority of “Zadrimali Volne” and “Blagoslvi dushe moya Ghospoda” by Russian masters, Cesar Cui and Pavel Chesnokov, and the evocative and powerful “How Excellent Thy Name” 20th Century American composition and music education icon, Howard Hanson.

The concert will conclude with the sentimental favorite, “Springtime in the Rockies,’ followed by the choir’s entertaining “Calypso Loco,”(in seven parts)  and its traditional “A Day in Spring.” Tickets available at Day Murray Music, from choir members and at the door.  All seats are $10 ($6 students) and admission is open to all over age 6.  For further information, check our Facebook page or call 801-537-1412

Pacific Boychoir – Joint Appearance this week

pacificBoyChoir

The Pacific BoyChoir. Photo from www.pacificboychoir.org

The Salt Lake Children’s Choir is delighted to welcome the outstanding Pacific Boychoir to Salt Lake City and will be participating with them in a special concert Thursday, June 25, 2015 at the beautiful St. Amborse Church (2315 Redondo Ave.)  This concert is being presented at no charge and will begin at 7:30 PM.  The program will offer a wide variety of music–ranging from Bach, to Gershwin, to John Denver.  Said the LA Times–

“Pacific Boychoir’s musical sophistication and quality of sound were astonishing.”  

Further information about this fine choir and its tour repertoire can be found at www.pacificboychoir.org

Spring Concerts May 1 & 2, 2015

To help you get in the mood for our concerts tomorrow and Saturday (May 1 & 2, 2015, 7:30 p.m. ), here is a clip of the Choir performing Ralph B. Woodward’s setting of Laudate Dominum two years ago in the same venue – the lovely First Presbyterian Church on South Temple in Salt Lake City.  This year you can hear Mozart’s setting of Laudate Dominum as well as many other immortal musical treasures.  For additional information about what’s on the program and ticket information please see this post.  The Choir looks forward to singing for you!

Spring Concert Program Notes, 2014

As our concert approaches this weekend, we wanted to share some program notes on some of the pieces to be performed written by our artistic director, and founder, of the choir – Ralph B. Woodward.  The concerts will truly be a journey across the history of music in both time and geography.  We hope that you enjoy learning more about the music, its place in the world and the relationship our choir has with some of these pieces.  Of course, no reading takes the place of hearing the real thing!  Please join us on May 2 & 3.  (Additional concert details available in the previous post – Tickets available from our website or at the door).

Hodie Apparuit:  This is a short motet by the great Franco-Flemish master Orlando di Lasso and is a prime example of 16th Century polyphony.  Its wonderful interweaving of parts makes it an extremely gratifying work to sing and to hear (the kids love it).

Bonne Nuit:  One of the great joys of working with these young people is to see what they can do with the Art Song.   We sing many of this genre–usually those by German masters.  However, in the beginning years of our choir, the very early ’80’s, one member’s mother (who also belonged to our first choir board) loaned me a book of songs which happened to contain the charming “Bonne Nuit  by the French composer, Jules Massenet (probably best known to most for his violin solo, “Meditation”–from the opera, Thais).  I then made an adaptation for the choir and we have done it periodically over the years.  I had never heard this charming song  before, and I have never heard it since — other than being sung by our choir.

Techot Volga ( by M. Fradkin):  This is a much loved by older Russians, and  was first sung by our choir in 1987.  It speaks of the permanence of the ever-flowing Volga and the stages and changes in our lives.  It is wistful, expressive and very beautiful. .

Caliche (by R. Alarcon):  This popular Chilean song, in the “cueca” dance rhythm, is a real favorite.  It refers, in endearing terms,  to  dark-complected “Caliche, ” which I originally thought meant a pretty girl.  In fact, this is a symbolic reference to a black ore that is mined in Northern Chile and which sustains  many miners of that area and their families.

Turn Ye to Me: from Scotland, is a bitter-sweet song of parting of someone who is leaving a loved one to go to sea.

Follow Me Down to Carlow: a rousing Irish dance tune, is one of the Choir’s all-time favorites.

Makedonska Devoice:  from the Republic of Macedonia (formerly part of Yugoslavia and not to be confused with Greek Macedonia) was introduced to me by a friend from Bosnia.  It is very tuneful, rhythmic (in 7/8) and very popular all over the Balkans.

Vienna, City of My Dreams:  This captivating waltz by Rudolf Sieczynski is much loved the world over (and especially by German-speaking people). It is full of irresistible Viennese charm and one of our favorites,

Kaya Kaymanta Ripusaj:  An Andean song of farewell from Bolivia in the ‘quechua’ language (language of the Incas)–with a couple of Spanish words. The melody and complimentary harmonies (which we have added) have a unique, mystical quality.

Palomita del arrozal:  This song is also from Bolivia, but from the Santa Cruz region–which is lower and more tropical.  It’s lyrics are mostly Spanish–but also include words of the native Guarani people of that area.

Kapusi Kali Kongo: is a novelty song from Zambia with fascinating poly-rhythmic percussion.

On the Sunny Side of the Street by Jimmy McHugh:  This popular American standard will be a lively, refreshing return to our own shores.  The perrformance will be complete with skat singing by the choir and the artistry of jazz pianist extraordinaire, Steve Keen.

Spring Concerts! May 2 & 3, 2014

Children singing with twilight visible through the windows behind them.

Salt Lake Children’s Choir performing in the Excellence in the Community Concert Series, Spring 2014. Photo by Lex Anderson

From Vienna —  to the Andes —  to “The Sunny Side of the Street”, a concert by the award winning Salt Lake Children’s Choir, will be presented  Friday and Saturday, May 2 and 3, at 7:30 PM in Salt  Lake City’s beautiful St. Ambrose Church (1975 South 2300 East). Spanning four centuries and four continents, the program will include musical treasures, both familiar and little known, from the British Isles, Eastern and Western Europe, Africa, South America and the USA — including the much-loved “On Wings of Song” and “Vienna, My City of Dreams” — as well as the lively “Follow Me Down to Carlow” from Ireland and the wistful Bolivian “Kaya Kaymanta Ripusaj”–sung in native Quechua, the language of the Incas.  Jazz pianist extraordinaire Steve Keen will join the choir on Woodward’s rhythmic “Canto” and the American favorite, “On the Sunny Side of the Street.  The evening will conclude with the choir’s own “Evening Prayer” and. “A Day in Spring.”

All seats are $9:00 ($6.00 students) and tickets are available at Day Murray Music or at the door.   Online tickets can be purchased here and will be held at will call on the nights of the concerts.   Admission is open to those ages 6 and older.

Please note:  The choir is now scheduling auditions for new members, and there will be a sign-up sheet for an audition time at the concert for those who attend.

 

Just in time for Christmas…

DVD bannerLast spring’s concert  has been produced into a beautiful DVD now available for purchase. We are also releasing a CD with 18 selections from the 2012 Christmas Concert.   They will make excellent keepsakes of your child’s participation in the choir or as gifts to family and friends not near enough to attend the concerts. Below is a clip taken from the DVD as a preview.

Pricing is as follows:

  • 2013 Spring Concert DVD:  $20 (first copy),  $10 (additional copies)
  • 2012 Christmas audio CD:  $15 (first copy),   $10 (additional copies)
  • DVD/CD Combo:  $30
  • Shipping:  $4 per address, domestic only. Free pick up option available at the Community Christmas Concert on December 22nd.

To place an order, please click here to send an email to the choir listing the items you would like to order, shipping addresses (if applicable), and a phone number in case we need to clarify anything. You will receive a PayPal Invoice from the choir for these items which you can then pay by PayPal, credit card, or mailed check. The order is not final until the payment is received. Be sure to include your preferences for shipping or pick-up at our upcoming holiday concerts.

If you would prefer to place an order over the phone or have any questions, please call/text Ali at 801-792-9641 or email slcc@q.com

Contact us for information on Blu-ray discs if interested.

Program Notes from Mr. Woodward

Children of the Salt Lake Children's Choir in their robes.

The Salt Lake Children’s Choir ready to sing at the First Presbyterian Church.

Tonight, May 11, is our last Spring Concert in Salt Lake for 2013.  Here are a few more program notes for pieces being performed tonight:

Anicka dusicka   arr. M. Schneider-Trnavsky
This lovely dance song has the combination of spice and melodic charm  for which Slovak songs are so widely known and loved..  It is one of the most  popular folk songs of Slovakia.

 

Las Amarillas  arr. by Stephen Hatfield
Back in 1997, when I first saw this arrangement of a southern Mexican huapanago, I thought it was one of the best (but most difficult) arrangements of ethnic music I had ever seen.  However, not wanting  to avoid a worthwhile challenge for the choir,  I immediately had our kids prepare  and perform it–and was glad I did (as was the audience!). Since then, it has been sung all over the world (mostly by groups older than ours)– and we have also done it once since.  However, it has been many years since we have tackled it and I am delighted this year’s group has the opportunity.  It is rhythmically complex, exciting, and great fun for all involved.

 

Springtime in the Rockies  by Robert Sauer
By the time we come to this sentimental favorite, we will have been on a wonderful musical journey (including a trip to the Norwegian mountains) and it will feel good to be back home.  Of local interest is that the composer, a German immigrant, was a member of the BYU music faculty when the song was written in 1927.  There will be more great things yet to come on the program, but this will start us on the home stretch.

Program Notes from Ralph B. Woodward: Moonlit Night

Moonlit Night (Mondnacht) by Robert Schumann

In many ways, I relate more to the music of Robert Scumann than any other composers of the German Romantic Era,  and this is one of the greatest of all his songs.
The characteristic interplay between piano and voice is exquisite, and the overall effect of the song is simply transporting (especially as sung by these young voices).  As with all our settings of such music, the accompaniment  is left untouched, the vocal parts enhanced with appropriate harmonies only sparingly and at strategic points. I don’t think this song can ever be programmed too often.
Text of the English translation sung by our choir:

 

It seemed as if, serenely, by heav’n the earth were kissed
That she so bright and queenly must dream of heav’nly rest

 

The breeze was lightly straying through cornfields waving light
and forest leaves were sighing as starlit was the night

 

And my rapt soul, her pinions, in eager joy out spread,
moved o’er the earth’s dominions as homeward on she sped.