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The City Journals

Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society aims at to expanding Draper arts

Jan 20, 2017 12:17PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Sherri Jensen, founder of the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society, hopes to bring a wider collection of arts to the public. (Sherri Jensen/Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Draper residents can look forward to another addition to the arts in their city with the formation of the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society. Created by Sherri Jensen, the new musical group is currently looking for musicians and choir members, as well as vocal soloists.
The idea of forming the new group came after Jensen produced an Easter cantata last year.
“It was the height of my musical pieces. I was working really hard on it and it came off and it really was a great success,” Jensen said. “After that, I realized there was more to me than I knew.”
Afterwards, Jensen was approached separately by some of the people involved in the cantata, suggesting she should do something on a much bigger scale. Jensen admitted she didn’t know what to think of the idea but as time went on, she said she began to see and feel in her heart she should do something.
“There was a big need in Draper and there are a lot of amazing things they do here. There are Draper Days. Draper Arts Council is amazing at putting on programs. We have a lot of really great things. But the center of the arts isn’t really there, either a philharmonic or a symphony or a choir,” Jensen said. “As that started to come to me, I realized that was what I was supposed to do and a path for me that I needed to walk.”
Right now, the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society is in the launch phase. Jensen has auditioned musicians and choir members on Jan. 21 at 1250 Raddon Road in Sandy. She was looking for a full symphony and “normal” voices for the choir.
“I’m not looking for the kind of person you find once in a while. I need just people who can hold a pitch and who love to practice, people who have sung in the past and can read music. I consider them to be just normal singers,” Jensen said. “My goal would be to have at least 80 of them. My future goal is 120 people. For the philharmonic, if I have my desire, I’ll have 65 instrumentalists there.”
The culmination of all the work Jensen is putting in will be the Easter concert called “Lamb of God.” The performance will be a non-denominational Easter oratorio. Written by Rob Gardner, the performance is about Christ’s last week of life.
“The 13 soloists are telling the story from their perspective. There’s Mary Magdalene; there’s Mary the mother of Jesus; Peter, James and John; Pilate; a maid,” Jensen said. “There’s this group of people who are singing about their part in his life and what happened the last week. It just literally transforms that information to the heart of the person. It has a really huge effect on people.”
The future goals for Jensen and the group are to find a permanent space to hold not only concerts, but also group practices. Jensen said she’s looking at a variety of venues, including churches and schools, though some locations are cost prohibitive. When a suitable location is found, the Draper Philharmonic and Choral Society will perform a concert every four to six weeks.
“There will be concerto competitions for youth who audition and win and will play their solos. There will be a Christmas concert. There will be a July Fourth concert and other concerts throughout the year,” Jensen said. “I have dreams of bringing in the best dancers from the high schools and having them dance live to the philharmonic. Anything that we can dream up, I feel that it’s going to be a really great change in Draper.”
The big dream for the group is to partner with the Draper Visual Arts Foundation (DVAF) and build an arts and culture center in Draper. Designs for the building have already been drawn by Lowell Baum, the director of DVAF.
“I was at a meeting with them. It’s going to happen. I can feel that it will be a beautiful and amazing building. We’ll be seeing people for financial support for that. It’s going to be a huge amount of money, millions and millions of dollars,” Jensen said. “It’s kind of grown into something quickly and has mushroomed. It’s almost running faster than I can. But it’s phenomenal. When the concert comes to pass and we’re on our way, it’ll be amazing to look back.”
Anyone interested in auditioning can sign up at Jensen can be reached at [email protected]