Historic DSC song will enrich Founder’s Day assembly

ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College of Utah is ready to kick off its 100th annual Homecoming events next week. While the college will hold many events throughout the week, Founder's Day on Oct. 9 will be particularly special this year.
Because this year’s Homecoming will celebrate Dixie State College’s history along with recent achievements, a historic Dixie State College song, “Just For Now,” will be performed at the Founder’s Day assembly at the St. George Tabernacle.
“Just For Now” is a song composed by the late Roene Difore, a much-beloved DSC music professor. Until the 1980’s, Difore ran a small choir at DSC called the Program Bureau, which performed her song.
Dr. Ken Peterson, director of vocal studies at DSC, will be conducting the concert choir and chamber singers as they combine to perform “Just For Now” at the Founders Day assembly on Saturday.
“The song has deep sentimental value to the alumni of Dixie College,” Peterson said. “It is a song of parting and of the hope of being reunited again, which perfectly illustrates the deep and lasting relationships students tend to form here at Dixie. It’s like an extended family.”
Many versions of the song have been performed through DSC’s history. The version that DSC’s concert choir and chamber singers will perform on Oct. 9 is an arrangement made by DSC’s previous director of vocal studies, Dr. Kim, and edited by Peterson.
“The attempt in (the latest) arrangement was to remain faithful to Roene (Difore)’s melody which, to my knowledge, have not been altered, although I have come to understand that one of the verses is not included in the new arrangement,” Peterson said.
While it would seem fitting to perform “Just For Now” the same way Difore’s group performed it 40 years ago, today it’s not possible.
“From what I have come to understand,” Peterson said, “when Roene (Difore)’s group, the Program Bureau, would perform it, she had written down a melody and the students would improvise the harmonies. Due to the nature of academic requirements of our choral ensembles today, it has become necessary to arrange it with specifically composed harmonies.”
Peterson conducts rehearsals of the concert choir, and Dr. Robert Briggs conducts rehearsals of the chamber singers. Both groups have been working on “Just For Now” in their rehearsals for a large portion of the fall semester.
“The singers love it!” he said.
While the performance of “Just For Now” at the Founders Day assembly is expected to enrich this year’s event, Peterson already appreciates Founders Day.
“From the very first time I was part of (Founders Day), I was impressed with the reverence and respect that students, current and past, have, and the gratitude they have for those who made Dixie State College possible,” Peterson said.
“(Founders Day) is terrific exposure for the choirs,” he continued, “and it’s a wonderful experience for the choirs to be exposed to the powerful traditions associated with Dixie State College – not only its survival, but how it has come to thrive and how it is on the verge of becoming the next university in the state of Utah.”

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