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Intellect

BYU-Idaho musicians to present new oratorio at BYU

A new sacred music oratorio will be performed by students from Brigham Young University-Idaho in the de Jong Concert Hall at Brigham Young University on Thursday (March 13) at 7:30 p.m.

Visions of Light and Truth by American composer A. Laurence Lyon of Salt Lake City was commissioned by BYU-Idaho in Rexburg, Idaho, and is being premiered on a tour to Arizona, Utah and Nevada by the BYU-Idaho choirs and orchestra.

Tickets are $9 for the public and $6 for BYU students and faculty and Ricks College/BYU-Idaho alumni. They can be purchased at the BYU Fine Arts Ticket Office at (801) 378-4322 or www.byu.edu/hfac.

The oratorio will feature the BYU-Idaho Symphony Orchestra, with 97 students performing, and the Collegiate Singers, Mens Choir and Womens Choir totaling 225 voices.

Lyon is a professor emeritus from Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Ore., where he taught for 30 years. He has more than 200 published compositions and arrangements, including works for chorus, piano, voice, strings and orchestra. He holds a doctorate in music theory and compostion from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and bachelors and masters degrees in music from the University of Utah.

The oratorio is scored for chorus and orchestra with soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone and two tenors as soloists. The work contains 44 separate parts, including three orchestral intermezzos. The vocal parts were written to be sung by university-level singers, both on the choral and solo level.

The choirs play a large role in the oratorio, appearing separately and often in conjunction with the various soloists in some 24 of the 44 numbers in this work.

The composer believes that complexity for complexitys sake is not a path he chooses to follow.

A work such as this oratorio should be challenging, yes, but should also be accessible to both performer and listener, he said. Why write music performers dont care to perform and music that listeners either cant or dont want to fathom?

Writer: Elizabeth B. Jensen

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