Largest U.S. Collegiate Men’s Choir Supports LDS Missionaries With Free Album
For the first time ever, the Brigham Young University (BYU) Men’s Chorus, the largest collegiate men’s choir in the nation, will share its newest collection of hymns as free MP3 downloads.
Set Apart: Beloved Missionary Hymns was created as a gift to all who share in the love of missionary work. It will be available for download free of charge at setapartalbum.com beginning April 5, 2013.
The Brigham Young University Men’s Chorus sings hymns about Christ and also frequently entertains sold-out audiences with renditions of Broadway tunes and other popular songs. They create music videos, perform acts of service and give performances outside Utah. Established in 1958, the choir is comprised of 180 male voices, and has been under the direction of Rosalind Hall for the last 12 years. Over 60 percent of the 180 Men’s Chorus singers have served missions and a large number of the remaining members await their mission assignments.
“If any group in the whole world should make a missionary CD, it’s the BYU Men’s Chorus,” said Hall. “You feel that tremendous power coming from them when they sing and the enormous collective goodness that they emanate. There’s nothing in the world that could be a stronger power for good than that.”
The album was primarily intended for current and prospective missionaries, but all music lovers can appreciate the talent and hard work behind each number. Set Apart includes 10 new arrangements of beloved hymns created especially for the choir. Songs on the album include beloved missionary hymns such as “Called to Serve,” “Onward, Christian Soldiers,” and “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” And the popular LDS childhood song, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go.”
Click here to hear a sample of “Sweet is the Peace”
The free release of Set Apart was made possible by the gracious arrangers, including Matthew D. Nielsen, David Zabriskie, and Lane Johnson, who forfeited the licensing rights to the hymnal arrangements written specifically for the Men’s Chorus.
“The Men’s Chorus allows me to not only learn new music and increase my musical talents, but to share my testimony with those who come to our concerts and listen to our recordings,” said Josh Wood, member of the BYU Men’s Chorus, who served in the Michigan Lansing mission.
Stephen Jones, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communications, is very pleased with the choir’s work. “Testimony is felt in every phrase of this very impressive offering that honors all those who have served missions, and will inspire all who desire to share the gospel.”
“Ever since President Monson made that announcement at General Conference, there’s been a tremendous upsurge in the level of excitement about the missionary program” Hall said. “Every time the Men’s Chorus sings, the moment they open their mouths, they are doing missionary work.”
The Men’s Chorus began as Male Glee in 1901. By 1958, the club had grown to be an official class at BYU, and in 1984 when Mack Wilberg was appointed as the director, the Men’s Chorus had grown to become the largest collegiate male choral organization in the country at 180 members. Each year, more than 400 men audition for the Men’s Chorus. For the 2013-2014 school year auditions will be held from August 29-31, 2013 in the choral wing of the Harris Fine Arts Center on BYU campus. Students may fill out the online audition information form at the beginning of May at choirs.byu.edu. Call-back auditions will be held the following week.