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ONE TWISTED SISTER: Musician Dee Snider flashes the devil's horns to the crowd at Monster Circus, a rock mecca in Vegas. Click Arts&Life or a link to story. / Photo by Ben Hansen, special contributor

Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

USU Chamber Singers and USU Chorale to present "Voices"

April 14, 2009 | Utah State University's Chamber Singers and the USU Chorale present the choral program "Voices" Wednesday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. in USU's Performance Hall.

Under the direction of Cory Evans, Voices features an eclectic blend of choral music and is highlighted by a guest appearance of the local Beatles cover band Get Back for a collaboration with the choirs for a number of great Beatles tunes. The USU choral groups are based in the Department of Music in the Caine School of the Arts.

Tickets are $5, and free to USU students with ID and are available at the CSA Box Office by calling (435) 797-8022, online, or at the door.

Evans is director of choral activities in the music department, and is pleased to feature Get Back in a return visit to campus.

"Three years ago, the USU Chamber Singers joined forces with the local Beatles cover band Get Back to present a unique choral concert of Beatles music," Evans said. "The experience was a hit, and similar Beatles choral concerts have been performed throughout Utah and in surrounding states by university and high school choir programs whose directors heard of the concert, phoned, asking where they could get the music and how to get the band to join them. It's been fun to see our idea become so popular, so I thought it would be nice to have them back for our spring concert."

Evans said he intentionally designed a lighter concert for April because the choral groups have performed a number of serious, major works, including Carmina Burana and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

"I thought it would be fun to have the band play a few numbers on their own, then join us for a few of our favorite Beatles tunes," Evans said. "I'm not sure if the new Performance Hall has had a concert quite like this one. It's sure to have something for any music lover."

Evans said Voices also features a program with selections from Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna, three contemporary madrigals by Emma Lou Diemer, a delightful set of American folk tunes arranged by Edwin Fissinger, a 'totally cool' processional piece from Irish composer Michael McGlynn and other great choral music.

"The program is sure to lift us from the drab background of late winter," Evans said.



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