Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2009

Anthem For A New Year

On January 4, 2008, after four years of extensive renovation, the Utah State Capitol building held a formal Re-dedication ceremony. The ceremony’s 2008 program was based on the program used during the original dedication in 1916.

Included among the many performances was a new musical commission entitled “Anthem for a New Year: Into Light”.

The lyrics were a new poem written by Utah’s Poet Laureate Katharine Coles, PhD, and set to music by Utah composer Kurt Bestor. The premeire was conducted by Craig Jessop, and the extensive cast of local performers included The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Utah Symphony Orchestra, The Bells on Temple Square, the 23rd Army Band, the International Children’s Choir, and the Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School.

The poem compares the cold dark winter dawning slowly into spring as an allegory for our personal opportunities to change with the season, reach for new possibilities, and become beings of light.

Watch A Video Of This Musical Premiere Continue reading

The Last Letter Home: A Soldier’s Song

On May 1, 2003 husband, father, son and friend, US Army Pfc. Jesse Givens died in Iraq in the service of his country. He was 34 years old. Givens was parked in an M-1 main battle tank alongside the bank of the Euphrates River in Al Habbaniyah, Iraq. The riverbank gave way, resulting in the tank falling into the river. His comrades tried desperately and unsuccessfully to free him. Ironically, Pfc. Jesse A. Givens drowned in the desert…

Hear the story, and watch the musical performance of his last Letter Home. Continue reading