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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Lewis and Clark to be put to song

Express Staff Writer

No pun intended, but the increasingly adventurous repertoire of the large Caritas Chorale literally is exploring new territory for a concert next year.

Dick Brown takes a breather while conducting a Caritas Chorale performance. Express photo by Dana DuGan

Chorale conductor Dick Brown, of Hailey, has commissioned an original work commemorating and celebrating the daring exploration of the uncharted West by the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).

The libretto will be written by well known Idaho author and broadcaster Diane Josephy Peavey, of Carey. The music will be composed by Boise music producer David Allen Earnest.

Peavey comes naturally to studying and writing about the history of the West: Her father, Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., is regarded as a major U.S. historian and writer on Indian and Western topics.

The Lewis and Clark musical composition, not yet titled, is tentatively scheduled to be performed by Caritas Chorale next May, by 90 to 100 voices accompanied by a 33-piece orchestra.

Brown, a Mississippi transplant, has elevated chorale music to a major performing art since arriving in the Wood River Valley several years ago. He is choir director of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, teaches music composition at The Community School, conducts an annual music camp in Challis, and produces the annual Chamber Choir of Idaho performance in Idaho Falls. He also is taking the Caritas Chorale to Italy next June to perform.

Peavey is the author of "Bitterbrush Country," which is a compilation of her regular broadcasts on Boise State Radio about life as the wife of a third generation Blaine County sheep rancher and the experiences they share on their ranch northwest of Carey.

She said the adventures of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark travelling through what are now 11 states is a combination of "joy, hardship—so many moods to deal with" as she writes the words of the musical.

Earnest said from his home in Boise that the music will be "modern, harmonic language and not in the style of when events happened" in the early 1800s.

He plans to complete the composition by February 2005.

Earnest, who works for North by Northwest Productions, currently is completing the music track for a television documentary, "The Quiet War," about World War II internment camps for Japanese-Americans, which he calls "very moving."


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