I'm in a choir.  And a local paper did a story on our choir.  And I like it.  Read on below...

You can find the original story here.

Many thanks to Mel Sundquist, and of course, the Deseret Chamber Singers. We have concerts coming up, if you're interested.  Details are at the end of the story.
November 18, 2010
Mel Sundquist - Daily Herald

In a world where the "professional choir member" is an endangered species, many of Utah's graduated collegiate choir students become frustrated by the lack of professional outlets for their talent.

In an attempt to fill that gap in the lives of ex-choral members at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, Rex Kocherhans started the Deseret Chamber Singers in 2006.

"The reason I created the group was because I was looking for some kind of way to continue the wonderful experience I had with the BYU Singers," Kocherhans said, mentioning that the BYU Singers is a small choir with 30 to 50 members. "That experience has its own wonderful aspects. There's a lot more individual accountability and responsibility with each singer, because you don't have 10 other people singing your part. ... So there's more responsibility, but also more payoff. ... You get to know everybody in the choir better, and there's a kind of camaraderie since it's such a small group."

The Deseret Chamber Singers are different from most community choirs along the Wasatch Front in several key ways. Their membership is limited to about 30 to 50 members, the majority of their singers are in their 20s and 30s, and they maintain a professional-quality standard while working on an entirely volunteer basis.
"It is a bunch of former university singers who loved it and lived it, and miss it," said Eric Vogeler, a tenor in the choir and publicity co-chair. "They want to keep singing and performing, and they want to recapture the magic they got to experience. That brings with it that amount of passion that you can't get from a professional choir. It's just unique."

Kocherhans agreed about the singers' passion.

"Most of these people are choral conducting masters students, or have advanced degrees, or degrees in voice. ... The amazing thing to me is the lack of ego in the group. They're amazing musicians, and yet we have such a great time singing together."

The choir will perform its newest concert, "Sing Joyfully," twice this weekend. The songs in the concert represent a wide range of styles, from Renaissance to German romantic to American folk; the general theme of the concert, however, is the exhilaration of creating music.

"The common thread through all the music is this sense of the joy of singing," Kocherhans said. "It has that common thread of the joy of opening your mouth and singing, and creating music with your human instrument."

Though both performances of "Sing Joyfully" are in churches, Kocherhans said that the venues were chosen for size, price and acoustics rather than religious atmosphere. "We're not a religious group; we don't advocate any particular faith of any kind. We sing sacred as well as secular music."

For the first time since its inception, the choir created "Sing Joyfully" under the direction of a guest composer, Timothy Workman. Workman and Kocherhans have a musical relationship spanning years -- together they were in a barbershop quartet called Reprise, which won the International Barbershop Quartet Championships at a collegiate level in 2001.

"He and I go way back," Kocherhans said. "We have a really common musical thread that runs between the two of us."

Kocherhans, who works in marketing by day, was previously conducting the choir without an advanced choral degree. He said that Workman, who recently graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a Ph.D. in choral conducting, brings "a new level of professionalism and legitimacy to the choir with his degree."
In addition to its live performances, the group is recording tracks for an upcoming album. For updates about performances and the album, find the group on Facebook.

If you go...

Sing Joyfully

When: Friday (November 19) at 8 p.m.
Where: Provo Community Congregational Church, 175 N. University Ave., Provo
Tickets: Free, but with a $10 suggested donation

Second performance:
8 p.m. Saturday, November 20 at the First Baptist Church of Salt Lake City, 777 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City.

Info: deseretchambersingers@gmail.com or search for "Deseret Chamber Singers" on Facebook


Michemily said...

I just randomly saw your post about this upcoming concert on Facebook and ended up finding your blog. (Yeah, one of the dis/advantages of Facebook--you get people from seven years ago showing up again--hopefully that's not too creepy, sorry.) How awesome. I am in town and will try to convince a few people to go with me. Just my type of thing--listen while the talented ones blow everyone away. :)

M. Gordon said...

As it is now Dec. 3, I can't help but notice that you are more than a week out from your last post ... consider this your "feet to the fire" jumpstart.

P.S. Still lovin' that ol' ebv style.