The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition at Brigham Young University will present "Honored and Blest Be His Ever Great Name: The Joseph Smith Bicentennial Concert," featuring four new works in celebration of the first prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.
Tickets are available through the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 422-7664 or at performances.byu.edu for $9 or $6 with BYU or student ID.
The BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Kory Katseanes, will perform "Green Tree" by Stephen Jones, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications. The piece focuses on Joseph Smith as a green tree that was scathed for the glory of God. The music portrays Joseph's growth, martyrdom and continued work and message after his death.
Jones, also a professor of composition in BYU's School of Music, has received commissions from several orchestras and festivals, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Orchestra, the Meadows Wind Ensemble at Southern Methodist University and the Utah Arts Festival. A recipient of various grants and fellowships, Jones has had his works performed throughout the nation and world.
Conducted by David Blackinton, the Wind Symphony will perform "Tribute" by Murray Boren. The composer said the piece doesn't depict any certain part of Joseph's life, but is rather a tribute to him as a person.
"I wanted this to be a celebration of what I think I know about that gentleman and how much I honor him," Boren said. "I would rather celebrate the man rather than bemoan the sad parts of his life."
The composer-in-residence at BYU, Boren also teaches composition and theory. His works include nine operas, dozens of songs and choral works and nearly 100 chamber compositions. Most recently, Boren composed the music for the BYU opera "The Book of Gold." Other works include "Lexicon: A Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra," "The Joseph Sonnets" and "Joy," a Christmas fantasia in progress for the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra.
The BYU Singers, conducted by Ronald Staheli and featuring guest artists Shane Warby, baritone and Julie Bevan, cello, will perform "Remembering Joseph: We Who Press to the Path" by Robert Cundick with a text by Robb Cundick. The piece explores Joseph's feelings as he grew up and how he looked at the world around him.
Robert Cundick received his doctorate in composition from the University of Utah where he later taught as a member of the music faculty. He also taught as a member of the BYU music faculty and was appointed Tabernacle organist in 1965. Cundick's compositions include choral, orchestral and chamber works, as well as various songs for solo instruments.
The Concert Choir, conducted by Rosalind Hall, will perform "Till All Eternity Shall Ring" by Mack Wilberg. Using texts from Emma Smith's 1835 compilation "A Collection of Sacred Hymns," Wilberg has provided completely new musical settings for old hymns that the Church of Jesus Christ no longer uses.
Wilberg was appointed associate music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and conductor of the Temple Square Chorale in May 1999. He is a former professor of music at BYU, and remains active as a composer, arranger, guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and abroad. His works have been performed by such artists as Frederica von Stade, Bryn Terfel, the King's Singers, Audra McDonald and narrator Walter Cronkite.
Established in 1983 through the patronage of Milton A. and Gloria Barlow, the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition engenders and supports excellence in musical composition. Proceeds from the endowment are used for various prizes offered to composers to encourage continued composition.
The concert will be recorded by BYU Broadcasting and will be rebroadcast at a later date. For specific rebroadcast dates and times, visit byubroadcasting.org.
For more information, contact Stephen Jones at (801) 422-8271 or Dale Monson at (801) 422-6304.