One hundred and fifty Brigham Young University Singers alumni will gather to celebrate 20 years of making music and to sing old favorites during a reunion concert Saturday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.
The performance is free and the public is welcome to attend.
Director Ronald Staheli has been conducting their performances since the group’s inception in fall semester 1984. Throughout his 20-year involvement with BYU's top touring vocal ensemble, Staheli has traveled with approximately 400 Singers to nearly every continent on the globe.
He is understandably excited about the reunion. “Everybody wants to see each other, and it’s going to be a madhouse,” Staheli said. “They all keep in close touch and care a great deal for one another.”
Staheli credits Singers alumna Sandefur Schmidt for keeping everyone in close contact, especially through a newsletter Schmidt helps put together.
“Don’t credit me with anything,” Staheli said. “Sandefur was a Singer during the group's first two years, and she’s a friend to everyone, not to mention a creative writer and photographer.”
Schmidt says that the Singers are all good friends and she tries to keep track of everyone.
“This is a great gathering of people who love each other and love music enough that they are coming from all over the country to make music together,” she said.
The concert will feature the 45 current University Singers performing in addition to the alumni and their spouses singing “My Song in the Night,” “Song for the Mira,” “How Can I Keep From Singing?” and “Tonight/White Moon.”
“We have chosen some favorite pieces from over the years,” Staheli said. “It was impossible to fit in all that were requested.”
Staheli said the free performance will be a little less formal than typical concerts, but that the Singers are planning to have a lot of fun, and he hopes that no one stays away.
The current Singers ensemble will also perform a concert April 1 in the de Jong Concert Hall before heading out on tour to Canada later in the year.
Staheli said that Schmidt is also invaluable to the touring process.
“I’m a full-time volunteer,” Schmidt said. “I look at it as a mission I never filled. I’ll do anything I can if I can help facilitate who the Singers reach and how they reach them.”
Staheli says he thinks it is remarkable that the students keep in touch, and is pleased to say the alumni are interested in the quality of the group.
“There’s a bond between us that comes from working so closely together,” he said. “We’ve worked hard, but we’re now reaping the benefits.”
For more information about the Brigham Young University Singers Reunion concert, contact Ronald Staheli at (801) 422-3169 or Sandefur Schmidt at (801) 343-3525.
Writer: Rachel M. Sego