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South Jordan Journal

South Jordan Chorale invited to Perform at Lincoln Center in New York City

Oct 03, 2019 02:01PM ● By Jennifer Gardiner

Lincoln Center (Photo courtesy DCINY)

By Jennifer Gardiner | [email protected] 

Utah’s South Jordan Chorale is headed to the Big Apple after receiving a special invitation from the Distinguished Concerts International New York City to perform at the Lincoln Center next May.

The performance is planned to take place on Monday, May 25 in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts’ David Geffen Hall and will feature The American Spirit as well as a World Premiere piece for choir and orchestra. 

“The South Jordan Chorale received this invitation because of the quality and high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers as well as their stellar previous appearance on the DCINY Concert Series,” said Dr. Jonathan Griffith, artistic director and principal conductor for DCINY. “It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.” 

The singers will spend five days and four nights in New York City in preparation for their concert. 

“The singers will spend approximately nine to 10 hours in rehearsals over the five-day residency,” says Griffith. “Not all of the time is spent in rehearsals, since there is so much history and culture to see in New York City. However, the performance is the primary purpose for their visit to the city.” 

Composer/conductor Mark Hayes is an award-winning concert pianist, composer, arranger and conductor. His 1,000 published works include work for solo voice, solo piano, multiple pianos, orchestra, jazz combo, small instrumental ensembles and choruses of all kinds. 

Hayes arranged and orchestrated the music for Civil War Voices, which won six awards including "Best Musical" in the 2010 Midtown International Theatre Festival in New York. He conducted the world premiere of his work for chorus, orchestra and narrator, The American Spirit, at Lincoln Center in May 2011 and the world premiere of his Requiem at Lincoln Center in May 2013. In addition to his involvement in the sacred and secular choral music fields, Hayes is an accomplished orchestrator and record producer. 

South Jordan Chorale is a part of the nonprofit organization SoJo Choral Arts, founded by Executive Director McKell Berrett Scanlan. It is composed of a board directed by President Stan Page, overseeing musical groups comprising approximately 300 volunteers.  

Scanlan said the choir prides themselves on being a music community that gives back. They have raised money for Make-A-Wish, local family shelters, food banks, Charity Water and other worthy causes. 

“What this group has in common is a desire to create and share music, but it goes beyond that,” said Scanlan. “Over the past 14 plus years, they have been steadily building an organization, primarily made up of musicians, whose interest is in lifting people in our community, through music and service.”  

The choir is accompanied by professional pianists Lori Hicks, Jamee Talbot and Debbie Robbins and a 30-member volunteer orchestra with Conductor; Barbara Peterson and Concertmaster Jeremy Starr.

“The choir was started 14 years ago by Director Marlene Stanley who was in her 60s at the time,” said Scanlan. “Now in her 80s, there has been a need to train an assistant director, Deborah Veater, a local musician who shares the same love for music as Marlene.”

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Members of the community wanting to give financial support in sending these singers to New York can contact McKell Scanlan at [email protected]