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2nd annual LDS Composers' Trust concert

BYU Master of  Music Composition student, Joseph Sowa, will debut his clarinet sonata at the 2nd Annual LDS Composers Trust concert on Friday, Sept. 30, at Baldassin Pianos in Salt Lake City.
BYU Master of Music Composition student, Joseph Sowa, will debut his clarinet sonata at the 2nd Annual LDS Composers Trust concert on Friday, Sept. 30, at Baldassin Pianos in Salt Lake City.
Contributed by Joseph Sowa

SALT LAKE CITY — Music has always been a sacred, and perhaps, essential part of faith and something the LDS Composers' Trust celebrates. The trust, designed to promote and advance LDS composers works in classical and concert genres, serves as a beacon of support and community for artists and composers.

As part of the trust's outreach efforts, the second annual LDS Composers' Trust Concert will be on Friday, Sept. 30.

"It's great to see the initial LDS Composers' Trust concert become an annual event," said trust founder and concert organizer Glenn Gordon. "It is my hope that this is just a beginning as far as concerts dedicated to LDS composers go."

After the success of last year's kickoff event, this year's concert will feature a program that will showcase the music and the performers.

"This concert will be quite different from last year's concert," he said. "This concert will feature four substantial chamber works and a group of outstanding concert musicians performing. The quality of both music and performance will be outstanding."

Some of the highlights of the upcoming concert include the first public performance of "Tales of a Summer Night," a piece for piano, flute and bassoon by Kay Hicks Ward and a world premiere clarinet sonata by Joseph Sowa, described by Gordon as a "a very talented student composer from BYU."

Sowa, a graduate student at BYU, is excited about participating in this year's event.

"'The Clarinet Sonata' is my first major piece, so to hear it played in full, the way I intended, is quite exciting," Sowa said. "I wrote the piece over the course of two years, starting in 2008. Up to this point, only individual movements have been performed but never the work as a whole.

"The work encompasses a wide variety of moods and sounds from the tender to the playful to the heart-wrenching. In terms of its overall form, my sonata has a similar arc to Samuel Barber's 'Violin Concerto,' though the pieces don't sound superficially alike."

Regarding Sowa, Gordon believes that he "will be one of the outstanding young LDS composers of the future."

Other planned performances include Marie Nelson Bennett's Trio "Filigree of Flowers" for piano, flute and clarinet. Crawford Gates will also be represented with a performance of selected pieces of his "Lyric Dances" for flute and piano planned for the evening.

Hyrum and Rosemary Mead are slated to be the evening's hosts.

Performances will include Jedd Moss, Pamela Palmer Jones, Larry Gee and Kay Hicks Ward on piano. Susan Goodfellow will return on flute, with Daron Bradford performing double duty on flute and clarinet. Jaren Hinckley also will be performing on clarinet and Roger Hicks will play bassoon for the concert.

In the year since the trust's first show, Gordon has seen awareness of not only the trust, but LDS composers in general grow globally.

"Since last year, a greater number of people have become aware of the trust and we now have a way for it to be formally organized as a not-for-profit organization in Utah," Gordon said. "I am very encouraged that we will now begin to make swifter progress towards our goal of promoting, performing and recording works by LDS composers in Utah and around the world."

Sowa echos Glenn's vision for the trust.

"The trust helps for several reasons," Sowa said. "First, without a strong advocate, LDS art and music in particular tends to fly under the radar, particularly if it isn't something you can, say, pick up at Deseret Book or find on Temple Square, so what Glenn is doing to promote our music, to say 'Here is something valuable you all should hear' is essential."

The concert begins at 7.30 p.m. at the Baldassin Concert Hall at 441 W. 300 South in Salt Lake City. Seating is limited.