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SLCA treats audiences to unlikely pairing of classical Mass and bluegrass music | Arts & Culture

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SLCA treats audiences to unlikely pairing of classical Mass and bluegrass music

The following is a press release from Salt Lake Choral Artists.

It’s not every day you hear a Mass that blends Benediction with banjo, mixes Appalachia with Agnus Dei or calls for gumption in the Gloria. Carol Barnett, composer and friend of Dr. Brady Allred (Salt Lake Choral Artists conductor and Artistic Director), is pleased and honored that the SLCA will treat Utah audiences to her unlikely pairing of classical Mass and bluegrass with  “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” on Feb. 24 at the Park City Community Church and Feb.25 at Libby Gardner Hall in Salt Lake City.
Seemingly odd bedfellows, the sophisticated choral sound mingles with jubilant bluegrass harmonies and instruments, interweaving classical and folk traditions to create a sound that is playful and joyful, melodic and rhythmic. Composed in 2007, the work¬¬ has been called audacious and engaging, and spans various genres, including solo voice, piano, and chorus, not to mention fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar and upright bass.

“My highest hope,” the Minnesota composer wrote in the Program Notes of her groundbreaking work, “is that listeners coming from one tradition—classical or bluegrass—and perhaps dubious about the other might discover something new and wonderful in the combination, as I have.”
Adding their electrifying energy and talent as part of the bluegrass ‘orchestra’ is the award-winning Utah duo Otter Creek, with Peter and Mary Danzig on mandolin and fiddle. One bluegrass radio announcer called them, “A duo that is both a technical marvel and tastefully perfect.”  The Danzig’s hold the titles of 2011 Utah State Mandolin and Fiddle champions, and will add a zesty treat to this concert.

Also on the bill for the evening are folk hymns, spirituals and music from Appalachia including James Erb’s much-beloved arrangement of “Shenandoah.” Appalachian music is the traditional music of the region of Appalachia in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York state to northern Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. It is derived from various European and African influences, including English ballads, Irish and Scottish traditional music (especially fiddle music), religious hymns, and African-American blues. Today, dozens of annual music festivals held throughout the region preserve the Appalachian music tradition. The SLCA is excited to share this lively musical tradition.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 801-232-7521 or obtaining in person at Park City Community Church or Libby Gardner Hall one hour prior to show-time. Tickets can also be purchased from any SLCA choir member; or by visiting the website at www.saltlakechoralartists.org.

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