Under the Western Sky - Hometown Praise: Music From Utah

For Immediate Release, June 2, 2014, New York, NY ... Distinguished Concerts International New York (DCINY) presents Under the Western Sky on Sunday, June 22 at 2:00pm at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. The program features Hometown Praise, a beautiful selection of music of faith performed by guest ensemble Utah Voices and directed by Michael Huff. The family-friendly afternoon also incudes lively music for treble voices featuring the world premiere of a Latin American-inspired Gloria by Cristian Grases, who also conducts.

For this afternoon concert, Dr. Michael Huff leads his acclaimed ensemble, Utah Voices, in Hometown Praise, a program celebrating both Utah’s rich history and its deep faith. Works include Mack Wilberg’s setting of the anthem Saints Bound for Heaven from “The Southern Harmony”, a hymn book used by American church-goers during the 19th century; Kurt Bestor’s Prayer of the Children, a poignant plea for peace in a troubled world; The Lord’s Prayer in a setting by Leroy Robertson, one of Utah’s best-known 20th century composers; and Wilberg’s setting of the Christian hymn, How Firm a Foundation. Utah Voices will also perform excerpts from Promised Valley, the Mormon answer to Oklahoma by Utah composer Crawford Gates, and Come, Come, Ye Saints, a hymn much-loved by today’s Latter-day Saints by William Clayton. Completing the program is Michael Huff’s setting of America, the Beautiful, giving voice to Utah’s “hometown pride.” Performing alongside Utah Voices are The Legacy Brass Ensemble and pianist Carrie Morris.

Cristian Grases leads the world premiere of his Gloria performed by the Distinguished Concerts Singers International, comprised of youth and children’s choirs from six states as well as Honduras, Australia, and Norway. In his joyful and playful Spanish-language setting of the Gloria, Grases uses a different Latin American folk rhythm in each of five movements, from the Colombian Cumbia to the Bomba, an energetic dance of Puerto Rico, to the celebratory Cuban Son.

Founded by Iris Derke (General Director) and Jonathan Griffith (Artistic Director and Principal Conductor), DCINY is driven by passion and unwavering commitment to create unforgettable audience and performer experiences.