“BYU’s Heritage Series Features LDS Composers,” Ensign, June 1996, 80
The Heritage Series, an LDS recording project established by Brigham Young University’s Department of Music, has released its second volume in a series of recordings documenting the musical contributions of Latter-day Saint composers. Produced by the university’s Tantara label, this volume features Robert Cundick’s The Redeemer: A Sacred Service of Music.
Brother Cundick’s work celebrates the life of Jesus Christ through scriptural text in a choral and orchestral setting. BYU’s University Singers, Concert Choir, and the Philharmonic orchestra combined their talents under the direction of Ronald Staheli to make the recording.
The works recorded in the Heritage Series “have as their core an understanding of music’s spiritual nature—manifest through the talents of accomplished performers,” noted Clyn Barrus in an introduction to the first volume of the Heritage Series. Brother Barrus is chair of BYU’s music department and is on the production committee for the Heritage Series.
The Heritage Series was born in 1991, recalled Anna Marie Hales, who along with her husband, Sloan, contributed an endowment to BYU for the recording of significant LDS compositions. During the Tabernacle Choir’s tour of Eastern Europe in 1991, the Haleses spoke with Robert Cundick, Tabernacle organist at the time, about the lack of recordings from serious LDS composers. They recognized a void in documenting what has been created musically by Church members beyond what the Tabernacle Choir has recorded. Using the Haleses’ endowment, the Heritage Series was created to fill this void.
The first volume in the Heritage Series was Leroy Robertson: A Treasury of Chamber Music. Several more volumes featuring LDS composers and performers are in various stages of planning.