May 22, 2018
Writer: Don Sparhawk
Brigham Young University-Idaho will premiere a new sacred music work in Rexburg and Salt Lake City in June. “From the Sermons of Jesus Christ,” a sacred music oratorio, will feature music written by Latter-day Saint composer David Sargent.
Free performances will be held June 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in Salt Lake City, and on June 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Barrus Concert Hall at BYU-Idaho in Rexburg.
Tickets for the Rexburg concerts are free and can be obtained from the BYU-Idaho Ticket Office for the Rexburg performances. Order online at www.byui.edu/tickets or call the BYU-Idaho Ticket Office at 208-496-3170.
Tickets are not required for the Salt Lake City performance.
The oratorio, which was commissioned by BYU-Idaho as part of its Sacred Music Series, will be performed by the BYU-Idaho Symphony Orchestra, Collegiate Singers, College Choir, Men’s Choir and Women’s Choir.
This is the 14th work in the university’s Sacred Music Series. The initial commissioned work, which premiered in 1989, was Darwin Wolford’s “Behold, He Cometh!” This helped to establish the foundation of the current biennial series wherein BYU-Idaho commissions, performs and records major Latter-day Saint religious music.
Randall Kempton, who will conduct the work, said, “The intent of the Sacred Music Series is to produce new works that capture, over time, the spirit and majesty of the unfolding restoration of the gospel.”
He added, “It’s our attempt to fulfill President Spencer W. Kimball’s challenge to church artists: ‘The full story of Mormonism has never yet been written nor painted nor sculpted nor spoken. It remains for inspired hearts and talented fingers yet to reveal themselves. They must be faithful, inspired, active church members to give life and feeling and true perspective to a subject so worthy.”
Kempton said, “It’s our hope that, married to David Sargent’s wonderful new music, the words of the Savior Himself will sink deep into the hearts and minds of the student performers and audiences.”
Sargent taught composition and music theory at Brigham Young University for 32 years before he retired in 2008.
Sargent said, “These texts communicate the Savior’s pure love for us, and I hope that performers and hearers will be touched by that love. In these difficult and challenging times, it is a great blessing to know that our Savior is watching over us and providing a way for us to return to Him.”