Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chorus to celebrate Emancipation Day

Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus to present soloist Yve Evans

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus performs at the nexStage Theatre for a Christmas concert. Courtesy photo

The Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus has found a place in the Wood River Valley community for choir singers. The chorus will have its second performance to celebrate Emancipation Day, the anniversary of the day that President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Act, freeing slaves in the U.S. The show will include a special guest appearance by Yve Evans, a jazz and gospel singer and pianist.

The Boise State Meistersingers will also perform. The Meistersingers are the premier chorus for Boise State University and have appeared on television as well as performed around the Northwest.

The free performance will take place Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre in Ketchum. A pre-show patron party will be held at 6 p.m. at the nexStage Theatre. Tickets for the party are $10.

Evans performs around the U.S. and has been a known singer and performer at the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree for many years. She has a three-and-a-half-octave range. Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus director Patty Parsons said Evans tries to connect with the soul of all audiences when she performs.

< "We decided to bring Yve because we could not do an Emancipation celebration without an African-American soul singer," Parsons said.

She said many slave songs were not written down and were code for finding the Underground Railroad or signals for warnings about safety.

"You find the soul in any civilization by their art," she said. "These songs were an art form."

Parsons said gospel choirs lift her spirits, which is why she created the chorus.

"We all go through things that need emancipation," she said. "This is what this music does for me. It's passionate and it's authentic."

The Sun Valley Hallelujah Chorus will sing 10 songs. Evans will join in and sing, too. Expect to clap and take part in the joyous rhythm of the music.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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