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WSU Choirs gear up for spring show

This Wednesday, the Weber State University Department of Performing Arts will present their annual Winter Choirfest in WSU’s Austad Auditorium located in the Val A. Browning Center for the Performing Arts. Led by Mark Henderson, the concert will consist of the WSU Concert Choir and the WSU Chamber Choir.

The Concert Choir puts on a total of four major concerts a year. It is made up of a total of 90 students while the Chamber Choir has just 30 students.

“We have been working for weeks learning, practicing and memorizing music,” said Kimberly Graff, Concert Choir vice president. “So when we get out of our music and we’re watching the conductor and listening to each other, we are much more expressive.”

In preparation for the Choirfest, the two groups have rehearsed through various genres of music, ranging from gospel, jazz and classical pieces. In preparation for the upcoming show, Henderson, along with two of his assistant choir directors, have chosen pieces from a wide variety of music.

“This has been challenging with the semester starting Jan. 2,” said Mina Romney, one of the two assistant choir directors for the Concert Choir, who is working on a music education degree. “We’ve only had a month and a half-ish to learn all of this music. And we’re doing some challenging pieces, so it’s really been a challenge to keep rehearsals focused, economical and efficient.”

“So it’s been a challenge, but I think everyone has stepped up to it, and we are going to put on a great concert,” Romney said. “We’re doing  a wide variety that I think anybody will find a piece that they can identify with.”

Audience members will hear classics from Gabriel Faure and Aaron Copeland, as well as newer pieces from jazz and gospel groups. Some of those pieces include “Corner Pocket” by Manhattan Transfer and “I’m A Train” by Albert Hammond.

“The gospel ones are usually a big hit because they’re very lively,” said Carly Hawker, a member of both choirs.

According to Graff, a special section of the show will be given to a collaborative performance between the Chamber Choir and the WSU Moving Company, an auditioned dance group, entitled Coil. In the performance, which is choreographed by Erik Stern, professor of dance, they will perform using a 40-foot long rope.

The show will be from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Austad Auditorium in the Val A. Browing Center. For information on ticket pricing and purchasing, contact 1-800-WSU-Tickets.

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