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Hillcrest Concert Choir Invited to Sing On National Program

May 05, 2016 01:42PM ● Published by Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

Midvale - It was sophomore Teagan Lloyd’s first visit to a television recording studio, when Hillcrest High School’s concert choir was invited to record songs at KBYU as part of a national program.

“I thought it was really cool to be invited to sing on a television special,” she said. “We got to not only see the studio, but were immersed in it as we recorded our songs.”

On Jan. 21, Hillcrest sang “Move Mountains,” which Tim Janis wrote, and “Calling America,” written by Alex Boye, for the program, “Celebrate America.” The program is a team effort with public television and music educators across the nation, designed to give students the opportunity to showcase their music programs on local PBS broadcasts and encourage them in their musical aspirations. More than 40,000 students across the country have participated in the program.

Choir director RaNae Dalgleish received the phone call inviting them to perform in November. Hillcrest was one of 13 choirs to be invited to the special.

“I thought this was a really fun opportunity for our students to not only have a chance to be part of this program, but see a professional and record in a studio,” she said. “We recorded with Alex Boye, who is one of my favorite artists, so it was a chance for the students to meet him as well.”

The choir rehearsed over the next couple months and in two hours and three takes, the 80-member choir of sophomores through seniors recorded two songs. The show was broadcast March 11 and March 19 on KBYU.

Teagan’s favorite was “Calling America,” since it was more upbeat.

“It was really cool to be introduced to his music. There was a more modern pop beat with African influence. We stood on choir risers and were so excited to sing the songs that you could feel the energy. We also got a tour of the studio and that was cool, especially since Studio C is filmed on the same set, and so many choir members love that show,” she said.

Janis was impressed with the talent of Hillcrest’s choir.

“Contributing to community through the arts has always been a big part of public television’s contribution to the community,” Janis said. “I am genuinely overwhelmed by the incredible talent and professionalism each music educator brought to the table. The students of Hillcrest High School demonstrated tremendous dedication in the preparation of their performance. They’re an undeniable musical force and a shining example of the commitment of today’s youth when encouraged to pursue the arts.”

While having the concert choir rehearse for this television special, Hillcrest’s 32-member junior and senior vocal ensemble performed two Christmas songs live on television in December.

“It was a different kind of experience, but it was still a way that I hope both choirs had an eye-opening, professional experiences. The concert choir had a chance to sing back-up and record with a popular artist while the vocal ensemble had just one chance to perform their best. They were both great experiences and they got to learn so much about other music and opportunities, I’d jump on them in a heart beat if given another chance,” Dalgleish said.

In late March, the concert choir performed Gabriel Faure’s “Requiem” at the Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah with the Salt Lake Choral Artists’ Youth Honor Choir.

This was days before Hillcrest concert choir and vocal ensemble took part of a five-day tour in early April to Boston, where they competed in the National Competition Heritage Festival, and attending the Boston Pops Orchestra. Their tour also included seeing the Freedom Trail, a harbor cruise and seeing “Matilda” and “Finding Neverland” on Broadway in New York City.

“It’s a nationally acclaimed music festival, which attracts high quality groups from across the country. We’ve won first at the festival when it was in New York and Seattle and been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall,” Dalgleish said.

The choir program will conclude for the year with its 7 p.m., May 17 spring concert at the school’s auditorium, 7350 South 900 East in Midvale. In addition to performances by these choirs, there will be songs by the 45-member non-audition mixed choir and a girls’ audition choir which consists of 32 members.   

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