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An International Musical Celebration

CLS celebrates languages around the world with the Welsh, German, Spanish, and French choir concert.

Students sing in French, German, Welsh, and Spanish at the BYU Language Choir concert.
Photo by Mariah Nix

Chanter! Sigen! Canu! Canter! Sing!

The blend of musical sounds and languages of the BYU Language Choirs echoed throughout the JSB auditorium as the multilingual students performed at the April 5, 2023, BYU Language Choirs concert, hosted by the Center for Language Studies (CLS). The event featured four of BYU’s international choirs including French, German, Welsh, and Spanish. The choirs sang both traditional songs from their language and popular songs like “La Vie En Rose” and “One Day More.”

Students love how participating in the choirs provides a fun, engaging way for them to practice pronunciation—and sing songs from the culture. Mariah Nix, the CLS language assessment coordinator, encourages students to take language courses and find fun ways to get involved, like joining the choir. “They are a lot of fun, and the students really enjoy it,” she says.

Students interested in participating in the choir must sign up for the accompanying course, like German 490R: Special Studies in German. Adjunct professors, choir professors, and even students all teach these courses. The students focus on developing their singing techniques while simultaneously improving their language pronunciation while preparing for their winter semester concert. Nix notes that a wide range of students enjoy participating in these choirs. Many are returned missionaries who spoke the language on their missions or students who have had experience with the language for a while. Regardless of experience, all skill levels are welcome. “It’s a time to be able to enjoy singing but also to learn more about the language,” Nix says.

Nix and others in CLS hope to increase the number of choirs to include more languages, such as from the Asian & Near Eastern Languages Department. “If there are students who are interested in those kinds of things, they can always reach out and see the departments for possibilities,” she says.

Interested in developing your singing and language skills? Check out the Center for Language Studies choir opportunities here.