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Patriots and Pioneers celebrates USA

CENTER STAGE | Courtesy Photo

CENTER STAGE | Courtesy Photo

The BYU-Idaho Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir and Symphony Band will perform with the Dallas Brass, for the Patriots and Pioneers program, July 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the BYU-Idaho Center.

Diane Soelberg, the chair for the Department of Music, said, the Patriots and Pioneers program started Spring Semester 2010, with guest artist Stanford Olsen, an American tenor.

Don Sparhawk, the Center Stage and performance tours coordinator, said the program has featured artists like George Dyer, Alex Boye and Edward Herrmann.

This year the program will feature the Dallas Brass, which will perform in a variety of musical styles, including classical masterpieces, Dixieland, swing, Broadway, Hollywood and patriotic music, according to the Center Stage Web page.

Soelberg said both the Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir, along with the Symphony Band, will perform a variety of songs that will uplift and entertain audiences.

Randall Kempton, the director of choral activities, said, the Women’s Choir will sing a challenging, fast-tempo piece called “What Would You Do If You Married a Soldier” and the Men’s Choir will sing a challenging piece in Scottish Gaelic.

“It’s probably the piece I’ve practiced the most outside of rehearsal,” said Ian Forsyth, a memeber of the choir and a freshman studying communication. “There are a lot of other pieces that we’re able to practice just during rehearsal, but this piece is a little more demanding.”

Kempton said both choirs and the band will perform a new arrangement of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The piece is currently being written for the performance and will be based on Mack Wilberg’s popular arrangement.

“This new version will include a special part for the Dallas Brass Quartet and be written for Symphony Band,” Kempton said. “We’re not aware of an arrangement that’s published for the Symphony Band or the brass quartet.”

Forsyth said he will perform a solo of the song “Tell my Father” from Civil War, the musical.

Forsyth said the solo is a very powerful, moving piece told from the perspective of a dead soldier singing to his family, trying to console them.

Forsyth said the Men’s Choir has put tremendous work into its rehearsals as it prepared for the upcoming performance.

“Right now, we’re practicing the intonation, getting all of our vowels put together and making sure we have everything unified before we start combining rehearsals,” Forsyth said.

Forsyth said the choirs and the band will combine practices to work out the fine details and make sure everything is unified as the performance date moves closer.

“I hope the audience enjoys themselves, that they feel uplifted and learn something about our heritage, not just facts or historical things, but that they learn through the music how we feel about our patriotic and pioneer heritage,” Kempton said.

Kempton said Patriots and Pioneers has become a popular holiday tradition among the Rexburg community.

“The people who come year after year will get the same opportunity to celebrate their heritage, but there will always be a new twist on it, a new spin,” Kempton said. “The guest artists really provide a different personality to every show.”

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