April 14, 2024

The Shelby and Ferne Collinsworth School of Music’s University Choir and Orchestra will be going on tour during the month of May. The group will be performing at many different venues up and down the West Coast.

UCO is a combination of vocalists and instrumentalists. This group consists of students from many different backgrounds. The group includes music majors and non-music majors, who work together to create inspiring music.

Led by Steven Dahlgren, assistant professor of music, UCO has seven performances. 

Michael Evan Moore, senior music composition major, said UCO will be going to Portland and San Francisco.

“Every Tuesday and Thursday we rehearse for two hours. (On the tour) we will be performing worship. (UCO) used to be show choir but now it is worship,” Moore said.

Not only do they have to focus on tour music, but the group has also been recording songs apart from regular rehearsals, which members said is also a challenge.

“We will be mixing up the order of the music; every performance will not be the same,” Moore said.

UCO has a lot of students who have been in the group for years, but there are also new students, and each year they have to work together and create a new voice.

“We prepare for concerts during regular rehearsal time, twice a week. By the end of the semester we have most everything memorized and we work on fine-tuning or maybe some new pieces,” said Emily Evan, senior communication studies major and music minor.

The students in this group do not just do this because they are required to, but because they said they genuinely enjoy worshipping God with their musical abilities.

“When I stand on the stage, in front of an audience, and have an opportunity to minister to someone in the audience among my friends, it is an amazing experience and is touching to our hearts as well as theirs,” Evan said.

Dahlgren said when students from all different backgrounds unite to praise God, something beautiful is made.

“There’s something really special that happens when people of different backgrounds, interests and abilities get together to create music and truly unite toward that pursuit,” Dahlgren said. “The level of professionalism, musical talent and heart for ministry in the group is really quite inspiring.”

This year, UCO will be traveling through Oregon, Washington and California where they will lead worship at different churches and high schools to represent the Collinsworth School of Music.

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