SALT LAKE CITY— A requiem, just like a life, contains both sadness and joy.
The Davis County-based choir Utah Voices will celebrate both the sadness and joy with their upcoming concert “Journey Home,” set for tonight, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. at the Libby Gardner Concert Hall at the University of Utah. The focus of the concert will be John Rutter’s “Requiem,” which inspired the theme of the concert.
“Any requiem is about the end of someone’s life,” said Christina Davis, a member of the choir. “There’s sadness, but there’s also joy in it to, the joy of going home.”
“Requiem,” which was the first piece of music chosen for the concert, is a musical setting of parts of the Latin mass for the dead with added psalms and biblical verses in English. Though it’s popular among many lovers of sacred music, Davis said that the choir would love to help it be more widely known.
“It’s just such a beautiful piece of music,” she said. “For a lot of people, it’s a favorite. But there are also people who have never heard it before, and this is a good way to introduce people to it.”
Once that was decided, the choir then used the requiem to help structure the rest of the concert.
“Once we decided on the requiem, we collected other pieces that related to going to our heavenly home in different ways,” said Davis. “They’re all on that theme, but there’s a nice variety to it.”
Part of that variety comes from some of the livelier gospel songs that will also be included in the concert. Among those is “I Will Rise,” a more upbeat celebration about rising into heaven.
“It’s really fun and up tempo,” said Davis. “It has a real beat and swing.”
The choir is planning their next concert even closer to home, joining with the 23rd Army Band for a free concert on July 7 at Bountiful City Park (400 N. 200 West). The concert is part of the city’s free summer concert series.
“For the last several years it’s been our last concert of the season,” said Davis. “We start up again in the fall.”
Kelly DeHaan, the choir’s director, will lead the group at both of the concerts. DeHaan, a former member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir who has been with the choir for several years, recently received the 2017 Huntsman Education Award for his work at West Jordan High School.
“He’s one of those people where if you know him, you love him,” she said. “We definitely love him, and we were thrilled to see him win that. He definitely deserves it.”
Libby Gardner Concert Hall is located at 1375 Presidents Circle on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake. Tickets to the concert are $12 per person, and can be purchased either online at utahvoices.org or at the door the night of the concert.
For more information about the concert and choir, visit utahvoices.org.