Yampa Valley Singers and Steamboat Chamber Singers rehearse Tuesday night at Steamboat Middle School in preparation for their upcoming concerts 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Yampa Valley Singers and Steamboat Chamber Singers rehearse Tuesday night at Steamboat Middle School in preparation for their upcoming concerts 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Yampa Valley Singers present multimedia event in “Sorrow to Joy”

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Yampa Valley Singers and Steamboat Chamber Singers rehearse Tuesday night at Steamboat Middle School in preparation for their upcoming concerts 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

If you go

What: Yampa Valley Singers present “Sorrow to Joy”

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: United Methodist Church, 736 Oak St.

Cost: Tickets are $10 and available at All That Jazz, at the door or by calling Lynda at 970-734-4814

— Yampa Valley Singers choir director Marie Carmichael was thinking about Sept. 11 when she developed the program for this year’s choral showcase.

She thought of how the world has dramatically changed in the almost 10 years since the event, and how music and the arts can help transcend issues, inspire and revive humanity.

“We have problems everywhere, and they’ve been heightened by this event,” Carmichael said. “That’s why I wanted to do this program. It’s uplifting, and we end up in a joyful place. Music is one of the best ways of getting there.”

The concert, “Sorrow to Joy,” is at 7 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the United Methodist Church.

Tickets are $10 and available at the door and from chorus members.

The repertoire will follow an arc beginning with the stark realities of war, death and destruction, but with each piece, the despair transforms into joy and hope.

The program opens with “Agnus Dei,” probably the most technical work in the program.

Carmichael said it was a challenge for the 40-person choir to conquer the piece, which was written for a string ensemble.

It’s also the theme for the war movie “Platoon.”

“It’s one of the most profound choral pieces,” she said. “I think when you do cutting-edge things that are solid and more challenging, then you’re going to grow as a group.”

The program will then evolve into more triumphant tones, such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and then into stories of peace and brotherhood, such as Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

The performance will be accompanied by local musicians, including John Sant’Ambrogio on the cello. The Emerald City Youth Chorus of elementary school students also will join in for a song called “Peace on Earth and Lots of Little Crickets.”

Beyond the music, the event will include a multimedia presentation of photographs that go along with each song.

Pattie Moon, a friend of the choir’s who helped organize the visual presentation, said the music suggested the use of visuals to enhance the experience.

“Listening to the music is beautiful,” she said. “But (Marie) decided she wanted to tell a story with it.

“Within a day or lifetime, we all experience transformations from sorrow to joy. This is something we all have in common as human beings.”

Between each song, choir members and musicians will read from works of historical literature, including the New Testament, Rumi, the Koran and works by John Lennon and Ghandi.

“It hits all of the senses and opens our hearts in profound ways that we could not express into words,” Carmichael said about the multimedia approach.

She said she hopes the audience walks away inspired and filled with images and emotions of peace and joy.

“I hope they’re inspired to love their neighbor and themselves,” she said.

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 871-4204 or e-mail ninglis@steamboatpilot.com

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