Combined youth symphony and choir to present 'Genesis,' Wednesday in Rexburg - East Idaho News
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Combined youth symphony and choir to present ‘Genesis,’ Wednesday in Rexburg

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REXBURG — Together with the Madison High School Choirs, Heritage Youth Symphony presents “Genesis,” a celebration of creation, Wednesday, March 20 at 7 p.m. at the Rexburg Tabernacle Civic Center, 51 N. Center Street in Rexburg.

Tickets are $5 and are available at or at the door, if available.

Now in their second concert cycle, Heritage Youth Symphony is comprised of musicians from age 14-24. It’s the creation of Jennifer Barrus, who recently retired from teaching orchestra in Sugar-Salem School District 322. She wanted to give talented local youth an additional opportunity to play and learn together. She says it’s going even better than she had hoped.

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“It’s beyond my dreams,” she says. “I have had people recruit each other and they just keep coming. It’s joyful. It’s an absolute joy to rehearse, and they seem like they’re enjoying it.”

Barrus, who conducts the orchestra, says the concert is named after one of her favorite contemporary compositions, “Genesis” by Rossano Galante. Together with Madison High School choir director David Hinck, the directors have chosen a selection of pieces that represent the beauty of nature and creation.

Among other pieces, the concert includes the Viola Concerto in G Major by Georg Philipp Telemann, which is the first-known viola concerto ever composed, and will feature viola soloists Elizabeth Baird Coates and Brendon Wheeler.

“And we are doing a movement from ‘The New World Symphony,’ which is describing the creation of our country,” Barrus says of Antonín Dvořák’s well-known symphony. “It has a lot of Native American themes combined with the beauty of Czechoslovakian sounds.

“Dvořák really melded those things well,” Barrus says. “The orchestra loves it, too.”

The combined choir and orchestra will perform Kurt Bestor’s “Prayer of the Children,” and “When You Believe,” from the film “Prince of Egypt.” The choir will also perform a few pieces without the orchestra, including the ethereal “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli.

Heritage Youth Symphony is sponsored by the city of Rexburg and Rexburg Cultural Arts. For more information on the symphony and other opportunities, visit