Utah State remembers World War I with the music that came out of it

By Lydia Velazquez

The American Festival Chorus and the Utah State University Symphony Orchestra will be holding their Veterans Day Memorial concert Sunday in the Daine Concert Hall at 7:30 p.m. as a closure to a week full of events commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

USU held events including a reading of British soldiers’ poetry, a presentation on how World War I affected Utah and a showing of various WWI related films. Most events focused on recognizing the art and writing produced during the war as well as how the war influenced individual approaches to such craft.

One of the major events that happened during the week was “War and the Human Heart,” a multimedia concert that incorporated music, film, and a live reading to provide audience members with as close an experience and understanding as possible to what veterans experienced and felt.

“We read history to understand our past and to hopefully not repeat the same mistakes of the past,” said Craig Jessop, the dean of the arts college and founder of the American Festival Chorus. “A study of the arts helps us to understand our collective past.”

Prior to the concert, Professor Regina Sweeney of Dickinson College gave a presentation titled “Music Goes to War: From Parisian Music Halls to the Trenches of World War I,” discussing and analyzing the music written and performed in France during WW1. The pre-concert talk was an event meant to help audience members enhance their experience, further providing context to an aspect of war that isn’t always given a lot of attention.

“I think to a certain degree, depending on what you’re listening to, music can be incredibly evocative. Especially on an emotional level,” said Sweeney, a history professor. “So in terms of reflecting where we are 100 years later, what the war meant, I think it’s a great thing to sort of  bring it forward so people think about it.”

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