Sixteen members of Crimson Colony, Logan High School’s chamber choir, joined 600 distinguished choral students from around the state of Utah for All-state Choir earlier this month. All-state is a program sponsored by the Utah Music Educators’ Association that annually invites a notable guest conductor to direct 600 students from all around the state...hence “All State.” The 2016 guest conductor was Dr. Rollo Dilworth, a contemporary composer of African American Spirituals. Dr. Dilworth is also the Chair of Music Education at Temple University in Philadelphia. A young 46 year old, Dilworth connected well with Logan High students, and many of them consider him to be the highlight of their All-State experience.
“Rollo Dilworth is a good person. Straight up. From the moment he walked out on stage and introduced himself, you could tell that he really loves music and loves what he does,” said Rylee Barfuss, a senior and alto in Crimson Colony, “His conducting was easy to follow, and the techniques he presented were understood. I think all of us that went ot Allstate grew in ways we weren’t aware we needed to. His instruction just clicked with us.”
“Rollo Dilworth is a good person. Straight up. From the moment he walked out on stage and introduced himself, you could tell that he really loves music and loves what he does.”
Barfuss added, “At first I didn’t want to go and sing with a bunch of choir kids for three days, but it ended up being a cool experience. Rollo Dilworth is an amazing composer and director. He made all those hours of rehearsal bearable.”
Klara Ricks, another alto, agrees with Barfuss’s praise of Dilworth. “I love Rollo so much, I could just eat him up. He kept the energy rolling, and he was able to lead a huge choir effectively,” she said.
The weekend trip to Salt Lake City included fifteen hours of heavy vocal rehearsal and culminated in a celebratory concert at the historic Salt Lake Tabernacle. The music performed included a broad range of genres, from classical, to gospel, to contemporary. One song the choir sang was entitled “Pal-So-Seong,” a Korean “laughing” song.
“It was basically us singing the same five vowel sounds over and over again in different ways,” said Tenor Jacob Huppi of Pal-So-Seong. “It was really interesting, and even strange at first, but by the end of All-state I really enjoyed it.” Huppi noted that it was a very repetitive piece of music and required a lot of attention and vocal techniques. “It was definitely the most difficult piece we sang at All-State,” he said.
The final song of the program, “Daniel,” was a medley of African American Spirituals arranged by Rollo Dilworth. Huppi called the experience of singing “Daniel” with the man who wrote it “inspirational,” and his Crimson Colony classmates agreed.
So between sharpening choral skills, singing with a renowned composer, and, what Huppi called “spending time with my close friends,” All-State Choir was a positive experience for sixteen Logan High students, and they represented the #logansystem well to the rest of the state.
For students interested in seeing other Logan High musicians perform, All-State Band and Orchestra will be holding their annual performance on January 21 at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City.
News Editor: Elizabeth Needham, Emanuel Abebe
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