Music is considered the universal language because it transcends physical understanding and reaches the human soul. Kevin Brower, the artistic director and conductor for the Anam Cara Chamber Choir, is very much acquainted with the impact of music.  

Brower is a Music Department faculty member at BYU-Idaho and works with the university’s Interdisciplinary Studies program on campus. In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Brower explained how the Anam Cara Choir lives up to its Gaelic name meaning “soul friends.” 

“As you’ve mentioned, this universal language of music communicates from and through the soul. What better name for a group of singers, especially as they gather together in a friendly environment to sing (soul friends), Anam Cara just seems to fit,” Brower said. 

The Anam Cara Chamber Choir will perform Johannes Brahms’ “Ein Deutsches Requiem” at the Arbor Event Center in Idaho Falls on November 20 and 22. Admission is free to the public and masks are required. 

Brower explained that a conventional requiem is meant to commemorate the dead like a funeral song. However, Brahms’ requiem in its organic German form strays from this traditional approach in a significant way. 

“Brahms focused on the living. In fact, he is recorded to have said if he were to change the title, he would call it a mass for the living or for the comfort of the living. So, it still is sort of about a funeral, but it’s not about the person who has died. It’s about comforting those that are still here,” Brower said. 

As a conductor, Brower recognizes the triangular relationship between the composer/arranger, performer and audience. His goal is to bring to life this composition in the way Brahms intended for it to be performed, even in the modest venue of the Arbor Event Center. 

“We’re excited to perform it in that setting, a little bit smaller,” Brower said. “We won’t have so many people on the stage, so we’ll be able to space appropriately, and we’re confident the audience will enjoy this much more intimate setting of the Brahms' Requiem.”