Westward Ho 

What would happen if the Boise Master Chorale took the concept of casual Fridays one step farther, and traded their black gowns and tuxedos for denim and leather? Instead of a traditional choir, we’d have a posse of country western crooners. And instead of singing classical compositions with an orchestral accompaniment, said posse would be hollering about cattle drives and covered wagons.

This fantasy comes to life when Boise Master Chorale director Dr. Jim Jirak leads the 100 voices in his group in a musical tribute to the American cowboy this Friday in Westward Ho: Cowboys and the American West in Song. By singing familiar songs like “The Yellow Rose of Texas” and “Don’t Tread On Me,” the Master Chorale hopes to reflect the history of our nation’s westward expansion. Expect home-on-the-range-style verse in addition to the musical numbers, as several of the choir members double as cowboy poets.

While the usual fare of the Master Chorale is more suited to mature audiences in semi-formal attire, acting executive director Joanne Anderson says this performance is “one for the family.” The gray-haired soprano elaborates, “Cowboy songs are sort of sad—they had a hard life. So this is part of America. It’s kind of a warm fuzzy in these times of turmoil.”

Friday, March 5, 7:30-9 p.m., $20, Centennial High School, 12400 W. McMillan Road; Saturday, March 6, $20, FREE for students, Boise State Special Events Center, 1910 University Dr., 208-426-4636. For tickets or more information, call 344-4794 or visit boisemasterchorale.net.

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