American Festival Chorus to hold concert for 'younger generation'
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 23:10
The American Festival Chorus will hold its Family Pops Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in USU’s Kent Concert Hall. The event will include a night of Disney songs from movies like “The Lion King,” “Fantasia” and many other Disney films, as well as music from “Stars Wars.”
The American Festival Chorus was founded summer 2008 and appointed Dr. Craig Jessop as the Artistic Director and Conductor. The AFCO consists of about 220 singers and between 50 to 60 orchestra members. Some of the choir members are students from the USU music department. However, the AFCO is comprised of mainly auditioned volunteer singers from the local community.
Diana Barber, who sings soprano II in the choir, said the organization is non-profit.
“We have a board of directors and a bunch of volunteers who keep this organization rolling,” she said. “I'm one of the volunteers. My husband Tom and I joined the choir when it started in 2008. Shortly after that, I started volunteering for the marketing and publicity committee. I'm in charge of posting our concerts in as many online and print calendars as I can.”
Barber said this type of event has been in the works for quite some time.
“Dr. Jessop and the board have long wanted to do a fun Family Pops concert,” Barber said. “We're trying to reach out to the younger generation through music. If you know Dr. Jessop, his motto is ‘A concert worth producing is worth overproducing.’ There will be a number of recognizable characters in costume.”
The chorus and orchestra is excited to put on this concert.
“We get to cut loose and have fun,” Barber said about her favorite part of the concert. “This will definitely be a concert worth attending.”
Elaine Olsen, AFCO managing director, said her favorite part of this concert is the opportunity for performers to remember their childhoods.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with The Disney music that’ll be a part of the Family Pops Concert and watching the choir members remember their youth and a simpler time,” Olsen said.
In addition to the Family Pops Concert, the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra will hold many more concerts this season, Olsen said. The shows will include a Veterans Day Memorial on Nov. 11, Christmas from the Ellen Eccles Theatre with special guest Alyson Cambridge, a night of gospel music on Feb. 15. The final performance of the season will be Brahms’s “Requiem” on March 28.
Olsen has been working with the group since it started in 2008 and was made managing director in September.
“It is a wonderful opportunity to get to know many different individuals from the community and to support such a wonderful organization with incredibly talented artists,” Olsen said. “Also, being part of the AFCO is a unique opportunity to work with world renowned guest musicians and conductor.”