Author Archives: Ben Burt Sings
The Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan, UT has been under a bond for over 20 years. There have been various parties, including Cache County, who have worked to pay off this bond. These parties saw the value of the theater and the potential it had for bringing in artistic groups to enrich our community.
The Herald Journal has published a story relating this news here: http://bit.ly/XljX4b
The theater has faced various issues and successes repaying this bond throughout these 20 years, such as this: http://bit.ly/Yo4yPm and this: http://bit.ly/XRPg3c. For more past news on the theater, please visit http://www.centerforthearts.us/news.html.
I began performing in the theater during my years at Utah State University as a member of the USU Chamber Singers and the USU University Chorale. I have had even further opportunities to perform there with the American Festival Chorus and the American Festival Singers. I cannot remember, but I would not be surprised if I attended various events at this theater while growing up in Northern Utah. I would imagine that I attended at least one musical. Since moving to Cache Valley in 2004, I have attended plenty of events at this theater ranging from stand up comedy by Brian Regan to operas and musicals. While my budget does not always allow me to attend everything I wish I could at the theater, I am very appreciative that we have this icon in our community. I can only hope that I progress enough in my profession to garner a large enough salary to allow for more of these entertainment opportunities. This news of the theater being paid off is great for Logan City funding and for all Cache Valley residents. I, personally, am very appreciate as well for the RAPZ tax that has helped to pay off this theater. Yes, it is a tax, but I feel it has helped preserve the uniqueness of this community.
I am eager to perform with the American Festival Chorus and American Festival Singers in future appearances at the theater. And I can only hope that the Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley progresses throughout the years to be able to warrant a performance in this theater as well.
A great article written by Robert Baldwin about how we need to keep our minds open to perception as musicians. I, myself, have a very different “style” than many of my fellow musicians. I have chosen not to be employed in music so I can enjoy it more. Many other musicians appreciate or enjoy music more due to the fact that they deal with it every hour of their lives. I am also glad, like Dr. Baldwin, that we have the freedom of expression in the United States. Please give this a read!
Perception is a major aspect of a musician’s life. We perceive sound, rhythm, and phrasing and relate it to all of the stimuli around us, from our fellow musicians on stage to the drone of an air handling unit. Hopefully, our attention is focused and blended with those around us. Often times it is not. And we can get pretty fussy about the score and the notes that are within, claiming some sort of ultimate authority on the subject. But doing so without regard to different options, interpretations, and traditions can create assumptions that may actually block creativity. As Joseph Campbell reminds us:
“Our human species…is distinguished by the fact that the action-releasing mechanisms of its central nervous system are for the most part…”open.” They are susceptible to the influence of imprintings from the society in which the individual grows up.” –Joseph Campbell, the Importance of Rites, 1964
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The Cache Valley Fun blog recently posted an article about our Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley and how we’ve progressed over our first year of existence. Give it a read!
Ben Burt has tried to start different singing groups in the past, but for one reason or another they failed. In May he helped to start the Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley. He said he finally feels that he has a dedicated, enthusiastic group of singers and some momentum. The group has seven scheduled performances in the month of December alone.
“I thought that we’d have less performances than we’ve had,” Burt said. “We’ve got quite a few performances coming up. I wasn’t that optimistic. I thought maybe we’d do one or two for Christmas and then we’d have to just carol to people.”
Burt said that a challenge for starting groups like this is finding enough singers. One of the reasons he said he has been able to recruit singers is because of the people he met when he joined the American Festival Chorus.
“The majority of our…
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Cache Valley Fun (blog) has posted a nice write-up on the upcoming American Festival Chorus Christmas performances. Give it a read!
The American Festival Chorus and Orchestra will present its annual Christmas from the Ellen Eccles Theatre concert this Friday and Saturday in Logan. This year the concert will feature violinist Jenny Oaks Baker and singer Alexandria Sharpe.
“This year we have two guest artists,” said Craig Jessop, director of the American Festival Chorus. “We have Jenny Oaks Baker and she’s just outstanding. She’s a Utah girl, but lives and works in Washington, D.C. as a violinist. For many years she’s been a member of the National Symphony Orchestra. Soprano Alexandria Sharpe, she’s coming to us from Ireland. She was a member of the group called Celtic Woman and has traveled all over the world.”
Sharpe and Baker will perform with more than 300 musicians in front of a sold out crowd.
“The singers are all volunteers and are members of the community,” Jessop said. “The orchestra are professional players. We…
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Please click on the link to read the review above.
I am so impressed by my fellow singers in the Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley. Our debut performance was a great hurdle to get over. It helps us keep something driving us in our rehearsals. It is a milestone that needed to be reached.
Our acappella group has been so much fun for me. And other chorus members have expressed similar sentiments. They say how even if we don’t have many people asking us to perform that they have plenty of fun just in rehearsals. And I agree, it is a LOT of fun to get a group of men together and sing without any instrument accompaniment. When those chords lock in, it brings a tingle to your whole body. I’ve literally had goosebumps during some rehearsals. I hope the other chorus members know how appreciative I am of their dedication and their support.
I love hearing comments from audience members after a performance. I love seeing their faces as they say how much they enjoyed the performance. Their smiles when they describe how glad they are that we performed a specific song. Singing music is a service. While we do sing for the sheer enjoyment of singing ourselves. We also sing to share music with others. Music can change the outcome of a day. It can brighten attitudes. It can leave lasting impressions. It can motivate. And we love it when our music has touched those we share it with.
I am excited to start working on new material with the Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley (MACCV). We will begin preparing for Christmas concerts in December and we will also work a few new pieces to add to our repertoire.
Thanks again to those who attended our debut performance!
The Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley had their debut performance Sunday night, July 22 in the Kent Concert at USU.
Here is a link to the announcement we posted for this concert: http://bit.ly/KDUj5s
The performance went extremely well! From estimates given by USU Alumni Band members based on performances that last few weeks, we only expected around 30 people to show up. Add on the fact that the concert was moved from the lawn of the Quad on the east side of Old Main building to instead be held in the Kent Concert Hall, and it was actually surprising to see such a huge turn out. The Kent Concert Hall holds 2168 people, and we believe the venue was over half full if not 2/3 full. We were definitely very enthused to have such a large audience for our debut performance. And we are very appreciative to the…
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The Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley (MAC) will have their first chorus performance as the intermission feature for the Utah State University Alumni Band on July 22.
This concert is FREE!
Time: July 22, 7:00 pm
Location: On the Quad field behind the Old Main building at USU.
Google Map: http://bit.ly/LGR0Il
Parking: Parking will be available to the south of the Old Main building.
Bring folding chairs or camp chairs to set up on the grass. The concert will last roughly 90min. Come VERY early for the best seating as Logan City’s summer citizens are usually the first to arrive.
Songs we will be singing:
Longest Time – by Billy Joel
Come and Go With Me – by Huey Lewis
Ezekiel Saw the Wheel
When You Wish Upon A Star
Lonesome Road – by James Taylor, arr. King’s Singers
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A new men’s acappella group has been created in Cache Valley, Utah and is in need of help from fans to come up with a name for the group. I wrote a blog back at the end of April, 2012 describing the intent of organizing this men’s acappella group. Here is a link to that blog: http://bit.ly/Ix0QfP
Local men quickly showed their interest and we had our first rehearsal at the beginning of May. We have now been rehearsing for almost two months.
Before we schedule performances, we would like to settle on a group name. Now, we are planning on organizing a smaller sub-group of this larger acappella group hopefully in the near future. So we potentially need two group names. It has been proposed that the name for the larger group be a generic name such as “Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley” – meanwhile reserving the more specific name for the small group. Let us know what your thoughts are on this.
A survey has been created to gather votes from our fans on which group names they prefer. Please visit this survey and give us your preferences: http://bit.ly/LuZ0h4.
Robert Baldwin, Music Director for the Salt Lake Symphony, Music Director for the Utah Philharmonia, and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Utah shares more of his thoughts on the importance of rhythm, meter, and tempo in music. He shares that music is not a perfect mathematical equation and neither is time in a musical piece. There is always ebb and flow. There is always adaptation, especially in live performances.
I’ll be climbing out of the pit after the last run of Susannah tonight. It’s been a great experience, and full of potential for the pondering mind. Inevitability. Events that lead to something else. The Grand Finale. That incessant beat of the clock, metronome, and human heart; counting down to a predestined end. Is this where we find meaningful rhythm and flow? Or is it rather a stream into which we we enter, subdivide, and play? Always present. Welcoming us to participate.
The problem with the first example, is that it is too clinical, too easy. In my experience it’s also completely wrong. The thought that music, creativity, or life itself can be relegated to mere numbers is a popular misconception. Yes, music is math. Life is math. Yes, proportions, ratios and relationships certainly exist. But as human beings, our lives simply don’t operate this way. Science is starting to…
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