BYU and U come together for annual Christmas performance

Choirs from the U and Brigham Young University came together to celebrate the holidays through music, performing Christmas carols before a sell-out crowd at Libby Gardner Concert Hall on Wednesday night.

The University of Utah Singers and Concert Chorale combined with the Brigham Young University Singers and Concert Choir for the performance, which came as the 11th in a yearly collaboration between the two schools.

Edgar Thompson and John Cooksey, as well as their professional colleagues at Brigham Young University, Mack Wilberg and Ronald Staheli, initiated the event as a way to “…foster the idea of friendliness and collaboration between the two schools.”

“We wanted to show people that the rivalry ended on the athletic field. Music unites us in so many ways, and we wanted to showcase the talents of both schools,” Thompson said.

The program included traditional Christmas carols as well as an original number written by Thomas L. Durham titled, “Jesus the Savior is Born.” The English carol “Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day” was also sung, accompanied with a dance performed by Laura Mitchell.

“Because of the rivalry that has developed between the two football teams, we think it’s nice to be able to collaborate rather than compete-and especially at this time of the year to share a message of peace and goodwill. We would like to carry on that tradition,” said Brady Allred, the conductor of the University of Utah singers.

The concert also marked the release of the University of Utah Singers’ newest CD, Christmas Morn, which contains several songs composed and arranged by Utah musicians. Allred hopes proceeds from the sale of the CD will help the choir raise money to go on a month-long tour of Europe next May.

“It [the CD] has a couple of purposes; one is to introduce the community to the University of Utah singers. The other is to raise funds so that the students can tour Europe next May, going through the Netherlands, Germany, France and Northern Italy.”

For more information on the University of Utah Singers, their new CD, and upcoming events, go to uofusingers.org.

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