Lamb of God Oratorio Set for April 19 and 202 min read

By Sara Penny

Cedar City: Rob Gardner wrote a beautiful Easter Oratorio that will be performed in Cedar City on April 19 and 20, at 7 p.m. at the the LDS Church at 725 S. 1100 W. St. near Cedar High. Joseph Peterson is directing the community choir and orchestra. Admission is free and the public is invited.

“I chose to tackle this project because I knew that it had been a few years since this particular work had been done in Cedar City and I know that it is performed every year across Northern Utah. I wanted to bring it back to Cedar City to help celebrate the Easter season as well. Finally, I wanted to bring this amazing composition back to the Cedar City stage because it is a wonderful way to spread the love of our Savior Jesus Christ through music!,” said Peterson.
Narrators Steve Swann and Larissa Asay set the stage for the Easter story. Soloists include disciples William Garza, Wesley Buckwalter, Jordan Sanders, and Cleo Aitchison. Ryan Aitchison is Pilate with Isaac Byrd and Travis Tidwell as Accuser, Pharisee, and False Witness Nitza Brooks sings the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Grace Tidwell sings the part of Mary, sister of Martha. Anna Tidwell is Martha with Liberty Nelson as Mary Magdalene. Elizabeth Vance and Hannah Green are also soloists.
The choir includes many SUU students as well as community vocalists and has been rehearsing for several weeks. The orchestra includes SUU students, Orchestra of Southern Utah musicians, and community musicians.
Rob Gardner’s goal was “to tell the story of the last days of the life of Jesus Christ through the experiences of those who witnessed them.” The solo cello represents Jesus’ voice, played by Joseph Van Duren. The choir sings in Aramaic, the language of the historical time. Soloists and narration use English. An oratorio is a musical collaboration of soloists, choir, and orchestra telling a religious story without sets and costumes.
“You are invited to share this Easter Oratorio as our gift to the community,” said Peterson. “Many thanks to all who are participating as well as the SUU Music Department for their support and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for providing a performance venue.”


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