Brahms performance

Members of the Anam Cara choir at their 2021 Brahms performance.

Anam Cara’s latest concert seeks to weave a musical tapestry exploring the beauty and challenges of life.

The free “Wonder & Glory: A Light in the Storm” concert will have its first performance 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Brigham Young University-Idaho Ruth Barrus Concert Hall, 525 S. Center St. in Rexburg. The second performance will be 7:30 p.m. Monday at Idaho Falls Civic Center for the Performing Arts, 501 S. Holmes Ave.

Anam Cara is an eastern Idaho chamber choir that was founded in 1999. Kevin Brower is the current artistic director.

The theme of Anam Cara’s newest concert comes from the “general sense that the world is in tumult and our communities are being challenged by dark times,” Brower said. “And this concert is intended to … be what we think is a light in the darkness or the storm.”

The musical program is arranged in both a thematic and chronological way. Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Magnificat in D” is the first song presented and also the oldest in the program. It is followed by the 20th-century piano piece “Une Barque sur l’Ocean” by Maurice Ravel. The last song is “Gloria” by John Rutter, a contemporary composer.

The order of the songs tells a thematic story as well.

“The Bach ‘Magnificat’ (is) … sort of just expressing wonder and awe at miraculous things, then it transfers into this piano piece,” Brower said. “(The piano piece) is trying to portray a story, and the story the piece is hoping to portray is a boat that is staying afloat amidst all the ripples and storms of the sea.”

The piano piece, “Une Barque sur l’Ocean,” represents a transition in tone.

“So, we sort of start with this wonder and awe of life and all of its joy and glory, and then … we start experiencing the murkiness of life and the storms, and through that beautiful piano solo we’ll experience that tumult, and yet that boat stays afloat,” Brower said. “Then we finish the concert with this now profound and exultant ‘Gloria, we made it.’”

Extra collaborators will join Anam Caram including the Idaho Falls High School Expressions Choir.

The collaboration came out of casual conversations with Caryn Marloweis, the choir director at Idaho Falls High School. This “lead into more serious conversation,” Brower said.

There will be instrumentalists performing alongside the choir. They are “department of music faculty and alumni or friends of” BYU-Idaho, according to Brower.

This concert will also be Brower’s final performance as the artistic director of Anam Cara.

“I’m so grateful, personally grateful, for the opportunity that Anam Cara … have given me to be a part of it for coming on 11 years,” Brower said.

He is leaving due to life circumstances and needing to do other things. He remains “so appreciative” of the organization and its members.

“It’s been such a joy, every moment to be with this organization,” Brower said.

Though the concert is free, Anam Cara is a non-profit and exists through donations from the community.

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