A Singer’s Dozen – April

April Iund, alto

When April isn’t singing with us, she’s teaching teenagers to sing as Alta High School’s Choral Director. She put a fun list together that has a mix of pop, jazz, and standard choral repertoire. 

You can find April’s list on Spotify by clicking HERE.

  1. A German Requiem, Op. 45, mvt 4: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen – Brahms

Brahms’ Requiem moves me to tears every time I hear it. I love the depth and breadth of the music and lyrics, and for me it has been the start of a love affair with singing Brahms’ music. The Requiem was also a favorite of my grandparents, who loved choral music and sang in the Jay Welch Chorale. A few years ago I had the privilege of singing Brahms’ Requiem with the University of Utah Chamber Choir and Utah Chamber Artists. When my grandmother passed away a few short months later, my wonderful friends from choir joined me at the funeral to sing the 4th movement. The words perfectly expressed what I wished for my grandmother: that she might rest in the lovely dwelling place of God. 

2. Otche Nash (Our Father) – Nikolai Golovanov

This piece holds so many performance memories for me: It was featured in our Utah Chamber Artists collage concert last fall in the Cathedral of the Madeline, and another year was part of a winning program that the University of Utah Chamber Choir presented at the Florilege choral competition when we took it on tour to France. We gave an impromptu performance in the Garnier Opera House in Paris, with no one around when we started. By the end of the song, every balcony and stairway was filled with listeners. It was something I’ll never forget.

3. An American in Paris – Gershwin

An American in Paris is the first piece I remember being obsessed with as a child. I first heard it in a 7th grade general music class. Shortly after, I saw the movie with Gene Kelly, and it remains my favorite movie to this day. The 2014 Broadway adaptation is also the most beautiful musical I’ve ever seen, marrying art, dance, romance, and imagination in a way that makes you want to live in the beautifully romantic world it creates.

4. I Love Paris – Cole Porter [Harry Connick, Jr.]

This song radiates fun right from the start, with Connick’s clever, laughing arrangement of the brass and woodwinds. It just makes me smile, and is exactly what I’d want to listen to as I walk the streets of Paris. Harry Connick, Jr.’s music was what first got me interested in jazz, and served as a guide through the wonderful world of the Great American Songbook. As a solo singer, jazz vocals are my niche, and what I love most to sing.

5. It’s a New World – Harold Arlen [A Star Is Born]

This isn’t the most famous song from A Star is Born, but Judy Garland’s earnest delivery of Harold Arlen’s stunning music is just perfection.

6. We’ve Only Just Begun – [The Carpenters]

Karen’s voice is unbeatable. I think it’s perfect. The song may seem cheesy to some, but as someone who has yet to find their life companion, I love the idea of finding someone and sharing life’s journey together. I’m a hopeless romantic, what can I say. 

7. Suo Gan – arr. Barlow Bradford

Every year I look forward to singing Christmas carol arrangements by our artistic director Barlow Bradford. An added joy is being able to share this music with my students. The Madrigal ensemble at Alta High School performed this beautiful carol this past year.

8. You Can Fly! You Can Fly! – [Peter Pan]

One of my favorite things to listen to is choir music from a certain period of the not-too-distant past. I’m thinking of the choirs you hear in the old Disney movies, Henry Mancini albums, or on Nat King Cole Christmas albums. It’s a unique sound that just makes me smile. I hope it makes you smille too!

9. Symphony 2 “Resurrection,” mvt 5 – Mahler

Singing Mahler’s 2nd symphony with the Utah Symphony was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Mahler’s music always seems so unearthly to me. It transports you to some other world as a listener, and especially as a performer. This movement is what I imagine heaven to sound and feel like. It is so beautiful you feel that you could burst from the light and emotion. 

10. Piano and Strings – Mancini [The Pink Panther]

Another romantic song. I think the simplicity of the piano and the finesse with which it is played just feels so right. It feels to me like exactly what you want to say to someone you love, with the perfect amount of tenderness and heart, but with piano and strings instead of words. 

11. I’ll Never Fall in Love Again – Bacharach/David

I really love Traincha’s voice. It has the ache and the pop sound that for me suits Burt Bacharach’s songs better than anyone. This song is one of the many collaborations between Bacharach and lyricist Hal David. I love David’s lyrics: Telling yourself the only thing you get when you kiss a guy is enough germs to catch pneumonia, and then swearing you’ll never fall in love again. The delightfully perfect thing to say when you’re in love, but trying to fall out. 

12. Flamenco Sketches – Miles Davis

Kind of Blue is one of my favorite jazz albums. I love the use of modes to create a certain moodiness, whether it’s contemplative like on Flamenco Sketches, or more fun like on So What. There’s a reason this is a must-have album for any jazz fan. 

13. My Foolish Heart – Young, arr. Evans

This song is one my very favorites to sing. But even without vocals, I could listen all day to this version by the Bill Evans Trio. The brushes on the drums, the acoustic bass, and Evans’s lush voicings on the keys. It’s all so dreamy.

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