World Renown BYU Singers Hold Workshop For HHS Choir

Helen Husky, Staff Writer

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On May 10th, Hughson High School choral department held a workshop for Sound Investment, Women’s Choir, and Hickman Honor Choir to learn from, listen to, sing with, and perform for the Brigham Young University Singers.

 

The BYU Singers, conducted by Dr. Andrew Crane, consists of 40 graduate and undergraduate Brigham Young University students that have performed in some of the most distinguished concert halls in the world such as the Sydney Opera House and Carnegie Hall.  The BYU Singers group has also performed in 27 countries and throughout the United States. Most recently, the group was brought to perform at Gallo Center, Modesto.

 

One of the goals of the Hughson High music department is to bring the very best in the region, state, and world to work with the HHS students.  So when choral director Mr. Brad Thompson received an e-mail from Gallo Center asking if Hughson High School would like to have an opportunity to conduct a workshop with the BYU Singers, Thompson jumped at the opportunity.

 

“They wanted to work with us for maybe 30 minutes,” Thompson excitedly recalled. “I said, ‘No way… we want you for at least an hour.’ They were very accommodating.  This was such a great chance to work with a world-class choir and a world-class conductor.”

To begin the event, the Hughson High Sound Investment sang for the BYU Singers and then the singing roles were reversed.

 

“When the BYU Singers started singing, many jaws dropped as the high school students heard an incredible sound that was so beautiful and rich,” Thompson stated.

 

After each group sang for each other, Dr. Andrew Crane, the BYU director, led everyone in a joint rehearsal.  He was asked by Thompson to rehearse as if he was rehearsing with a professional choir. Thompson told him, “Forget that we are high school students.  Treat us like professionals. We want to see what that looks and feels like.”

 

The students were completely engaged throughout the workshop and were able to show their knowledge of sight reading, music theory, and their level of accomplishment to the BYU Singers.

“Just walking onto the campus, I could tell that this was a school that had created an environment of excellence.  You have a very special thing going [there]—my students were talking about it all day,” Crane stated. “It’s clear that you have created a safe and welcoming environment, where the students are eager to learn and sing expressively. We were just as happy to be there as you may have been to have us there.”  

After the rehearsal, Sound Investment hosted the BYU Singers to a light lunch and both groups were able to discuss a shared interest and love for music, singing, and performing.

 

Thompson shared, “This experience will be remembered for a very long time.”