OGDEN — There are all sorts of things you could deny yourself for Lent, the 40-day Christian observance of purification in preparation for Easter Sunday.
Good music shouldn’t be one of them.
The renowned English choral group The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, is in town next week, presenting a Lenten program that spans five centuries of works by composers from Italy, Spain and England.
The concert begins at 7 p.m. Monday in the Browning Center’s Austad Auditorium at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors and military.
Christie Denniston, director of marketing and PR with the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities at Weber State University, said the choir is currently on a tour of the United States, Canada and Mexico.
“This will be their only concert in Utah,” Denniston said. “They picked Ogden as their only stop here, and we’re pretty excited about it.”
The Clare College choir concert will conclude this year’s trio of Browning Presents! programs in a season that included visits by jazz trumpeter Sean Jones and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist/author Ronan Farrow.
Led by conductor Graham Ross, The Choir of Clare College has developed an international reputation as one of the world’s leading university singing groups. The mixed-voice choir, founded in 1972 and helmed in the past by the likes of conductors/composers John Rutter and Timothy Brown, keeps an active recording, broadcasting and performing schedule — in addition to leading three religious services per week.
Monday’s concert will begin with a presentation of the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished Service Award in WSU’s College of Arts & Humanities, according to Denniston. Evelyn Harris, who taught voice at Weber for a number of years, will be the recipient of this first award.
“This is presented for commitment to the university and excellence to the community,” Denniston said. “With her commitment and effort and time she’s put in, we’re really excited to be able to present her with this award.”
Musical works created by composers Tomas Luis de Victoria, Ludovico da Viadana and John Sanders will be performed on Monday’s program.
In addition to the upcoming public concert, Denniston said the Clare College choir will spend most of Monday working with vocal students at the university. She said it’s a good opportunity for students to work with a mixed-voice choir.
“So often we don’t hear from vocal groups — we hear from single acts,” Denniston said. “But how does a group of voices come together? We’ve been seeing an increase in the number of choral students in our program, so that opportunity was attractive to us.”
Denniston said whenever the college brings in a guest for the Browning Presents! program, it tries to partner with those willing to interact with students. For example, Ronan Farrow met with journalism students at the school, and Sean Jones worked with jazz students.
“It’s one thing to study music — you can study it anywhere — but how many times do you get to participate in a master class from one of the top five choirs in the world?” she asked.