Torrington’s Keaton Yung Performs with UW Singing Statesmen at Northwestern American Choral Directors Conference

May 8, 2024 | Regional News

Spokane, WA (RELEASE from UW) May 8th, 2024 — The University of Wyoming Singing Statesmen performed at the Northwestern American Choral Directors Association Conference in Spokane, Wash., earlier this semester.

Conducted by Brian Murray, director of choral activities and an assistant professor of music, the 26-member group spent three days in Spokane, where the choir was invited to perform pieces such as Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Loch Lomond,” which featured UW voice faculty member Erik Erlandson.

Additionally, the choir offered Susan LaBarr’s “Love: Then and Still,” which flowed into Poulenc’s “III. Seigneur, je vous en prie” from “Quatre peties prières de St. François d’Assise,” as well as Rosephanye Powell’s “When We Sing.”

“The students experienced sheer joy at knowing they were selected to perform because of their past work,” Murray says. “They demonstrated a genuine gratitude for that level of recognition.”

In addition to its performance, the group visited many downtown restaurants and went sightseeing around the Spokane River.

“My favorite moment was the tenderness of the piece written for them — ‘Love: Then and Still’ by Susan LaBarr,” Murray says. “The text speaks to the loss of a loved one and the subsequent pain and resolution through the passage of time. In the moment of performance, they were attuned to the gravitas of the text and the poignancy of Ms. LaBarr’s setting. I relished the gentle power of their sensitivity.”

Murray stayed in Spokane for an additional day with UW graduate student Emily Peterson, who was selected to participate in a conducting master class with his former teacher, André Thomas, a professor emeritus at Florida State University. Peterson is earning her master’s degree in choral conducting.

While focusing primarily on the standard tenor-bass chorus repertoire, the Singing Statesmen specialize in music unique to UW, Wyoming and the region.

Membership is open to any tenor-bass singer enrolled at the university. Students from all walks of campus life are encouraged to participate in this ensemble.

Students who performed in Spokane, listed by hometown, are:

Buffalo — Brogan Byram and Ben Camino.

Casper — Carson Gilbar and Joe Gilbar.

Cheyenne — Patrick Boyce, Elijah Damey, Achilles Hennessy, Chase Maddox, Wyatt Olivas and Dominick Singleton.

Douglas — Jeffrey Cuevas.

Fort Collins, Colo. — Trent Slade.

Gillette — Zach Wolz.

Golden, Colo. — Zane Steele.

Green River — Owen Adams.

Jackson — Manny Hernandez.

Laramie — Britton Core, Connor Durkee and Ponce Villaseñor.

Littleton, Colo. — Brenden O’Haire and Jayden Parrill.

Lyman — Carter Huntsman.

Powell — Kaelin Crichton.

Rock Springs — Karson Hansen.

Sheridan — Collin Dixon.

Torrington — Keaton Yung.