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Writer: Writer: Don Sparhawk
Brigham Young University-Idaho choirs and orchestra will premiere a new sacred work this November.
Robert Cundick, a well-known Utah composer, has written the oratorio-like work entitled "God's Everlasting Love" based on text written by Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and former president of BYU-Idaho.
Cundick, who retired as a Salt Lake Tabernacle organist in 1991, was commissioned by BYU-Idaho to write the work. It is patterned after another choral work that he wrote for Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 1978 titled "The Redeemer." Thus, it also is performed continuously without pause or applause.
The structure of the work is much like a church service, with a prelude and postlude, invocation and benediction, the main body of the work, and two hymn arrangements.
"It's worship through music," Cundick said. "I hope this work will serve as a catalyst for each listener to meditate on God's love for them. I feel strongly that a combination of music and spoken word intensifies the spiritual experience."
Sacred oratorios are generally based on scriptural text. "The text for this work was written by a living apostle," he said. "This has not been done before, so we are plowing new ground."
Cundick said he personally asked Elder Bednar to write the text. "I was struck by the fact that he was and remains so close to the university," Cundick said.
Under the direction of Robert Tueller, the BYU-Idaho Symphony Orchestra will combine with more than 250 voices from the Collegiate Singers and the Men's and Women's Choirs to present this musical performance.
In 1989, BYU-Idaho began commissioning Latter-day Saint composers biennially to create religious oratorios based on scripture. The sacred music series has since contributed significantly to the body of sacred music works.
In Rexburg, performances will be held Friday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hart Auditorium, and Friday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the Barrus Concert Hall. In Twin Falls, the performance will be held Friday, Nov. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Roper Auditorium. Complimentary tickets are available at the BYU-Idaho Ticket Office at (208) 496-2230 or (800) 717-4257, or at www.byui.edu/tickets. Standby tickets will be available at the door.
In Salt Lake City, the performance will be held Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Complimentary tickets are available at the Temple Square Events Ticket Office at (801) 570-0080 or toll free at 1-866-537-8457.
Please visit our Web site at www.byui.edu/sacredmusic.