To provide a culture of musical excellence that edifies, entertains, and educates performers and audiences.
The American Festival Chorus and Orchestra is the premier professional musical organization in this region. We create unique performing opportunities and synergistic partnerships, and celebrate the human experience through music.
The American Festival Chorus & Orchestra was founded in the summer of 2008 with Craig Jessop appointed as artistic director and conductor and Cory Evans, as associate conductor. The chorus and orchestra are overseen by a Board of Directors composed of community, choir and orchestra members.
The chorus brings together more than 200 talented singers from a 90-mile radius including faculty and students from the Utah State University Department of Music and local high school choral conductors. From the beginning its repertoire has been eclectic, ranging from the great choral/orchestral masterworks to hymns, spirituals, songs of Broadway, and patriotic and folk tunes.
The Orchestra is a professional ensemble comprised of instrumentalists from the region and includes members of the highly acclaimed Fry Street Quartet, students and faculty from USU’s music department, professional musicians from the area and outstanding USU music majors.
In January of 2013, Edward Reichel praised the American Festival Chorus as one of the Top 15 Concerts of 2012 in the state of Utah:
“American Festival Chorus – Craig Jessop is without doubt one of the most perceptive choral conductors today. During his tenure as music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir he brought back the richness of sound that characterized the ensemble during its golden age. And as music director of Logan’s American Festival Chorus Jessop took a small regional choir and turned it into one of Utah’s most respected vocal ensembles. Their performance of J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion last August was a study in subtlety and nuance and powerful for its emotional expressiveness.”
Jessop and the chorus present five performances each year in Logan, in addition to ongoing collaborations with the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre and with Sun Valley Entertainment.