On Saturday Oct. 26, the music department will host Choirfest, a concert showcasing three choirs: Men’s Choir, Vocal Union and Concert Choir. The concert will be held in the Eliza R. Snow Center at 7:30 p.m.
Each choir will perform arrangements for about 15-20 minutes.
“That gives audiences an opportunity to hear more than one choir, which gives them a variety of sounds and music to listen to,” said Randall Kempton, director of choral activities and conductor of the Men’s Chorus.
Men’s Choir is an old choir that is coming back. “It’s small right now, but they’re very good,” Kempton said. “They’ve worked hard,”
Men’s Choir rehearses Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. and includes all levels of singers, anybody who thinks they want to sing or learn how to sing.“We’re really just there to have fun,” Kempton said.
“(Men’s choir is unique in that) we haven’t had a night choir before, most people have conflicts during the day,” said Eda Asbhy, instructor in the Music Department and conductor of the Concert Choir. “This is to make it so it is easier for people to sing.”
Vocal Union is a jazz group with 12-14 members, often including costumes and dancing.
Concert Choir is a second-tier choir made up of mostly non-music majors. “We have engineers and nurses and art majors and all kinds of different people,” Ashby said. “Advising has been telling people that they can’t take choir, but actually, if they have 14 credits of required classes then the 15th could be choir.”
Kempton said what sets the BYU-I choirs apart from other colleges is the testimony that each concert produces. A lot of the concerts here have the mission of spreading the gospel.
Ashby said she appreciates getting to invite the Spirit in a blatant way and openly talking about things like that. She thinks it’s delightful to “be on the same team.”
Kempton chooses music for his choirs based on what he enjoys listening to, as well as music that challenges the choirs. He said the lyrics were a very important part of any music he chooses for his choirs.
“It’s sort of like listening to a film score, it’s not all the same,” Kempton said. “You have some exciting moments, you have some quieter moments, but they all fit together somehow.”
Ashby said she picks her music with help from Heavenly Father. She gathers a list of the songs she thinks will work, prays about it and then chooses those songs the Spirit tells her to.
In general, Ashby said the Concert Choir favorite is “Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” A relatively new piece, the song “gets inside you and makes you feel things,” Ashby said.
Ashby enjoys her job because she has so many wonderful people to work with, but she said it is hard to start over every semester: there is a two-thirds turnover rate because of the three semester system.
“I think it will be a good concert; I think people will enjoy it,” Ashby said.