Thursday, April 20, 2017

Third Annual Silver and Gold Soirée: Silent Auction and Raffle

Join OSU for an evening of live music, good food, and fun on Friday, May 12, from 5 to 7 pm at the IG Winery, 59 West Center. Remember to get tickets in advance from Emily Hepworth at 435-233-8213. 






Gregory A. Mauger of P&G Photography is providing this wonderful photograph from Snow Canyon custom framed for the auction. You can see more of his work at http://www.pgphotographystudio.com/portfolio.html
Title: "Perseverance"
Status: Limited Edition of 20 (This will be number 5)
Size: TBD - Most likely 11x17
Description: A lone tree in a slot canyon finding a way to grow and survive in the toughest of conditions.
Value: $1,200.00


















Thanks to Carl Mazur for an exquisite acrylic print of Lower Antelope Canyon for the auction. (our photo does not do it justice, but gives you an idea). See more of his work at http://www.carlmazur.com (minimum $250)

You are Invited to Join OSU for a Pleasant Evening
By Alex Szuhay


It has been another splendid season for the Orchestra of Southern Utah, which has embarked for the past six months on the melodic journeys of many composers, from Copland to Rossini and from Rachmaninov to Beethoven. It even had the great pleasure of introducing to Cedar City and the world an original composition by Mark Dal Porto. It would seem, then, that the time is soon upon us all for OSU’s third annual Silver and Gold Soiree to celebrate such an extraordinary season and a wonderfully supportive community. The soiree this year is under the direction of Suzanne Tegland and Ariel Rhoades.
On May 12 from 5 to 7 p.m., the orchestra will host the Silver and Gold Soiree at the new IG Winery location at 59 W. Center St. in Cedar City. Tickets will be $10 per person, which is well worth the price for an evening of hors d’oeuvres, live music, great company, and, of course, wine provided by our local winery. Delightful nonalcoholic sparkling juices will also be provided. Dress should be appropriate for a garden party, and silver or gold never hurts! Tickets can only be purchased in advance! Call Emily Hepworth at (435) 233-8213 and reserve yours today!
Music will be provided by some of the very same OSU musicians who have helped to make the magic possible this season. Live music performances this year will include the illustrious and talented Southern Utah String Quartet, the boisterous musicianship of the Jazz Dectet, and local bluegrass band Wilhelm, lead by OSU’s concertmistress.
There will also be a silent auction that will feature donations ranging from fine art and furniture to gift certificates and food, all made possible by generous local artists, contributors, and businesses in the community. All proceeds from the acution will help the orchestra fund another season and will assist with expensive needs such as music purchases, rentals, and licensing fees for performance and recording.  One piece of music can cost as much as $2000 to rent!
Last year, the Soirée raised around $5,000, a sensational amount and one most appreciated by every member of OSU.  It is the greatest hope that this trend can be continued this year and that all in attendance have a wonderful time, support our orchestra, and leave with a little something nice.
Color Country Clan by New York artist Lane Twitchell.

Cards by Ronald Wolter.
Red Canyon Spa

Groovacious

Pastel by Arlene Braithwaite













Set of China
Conservatory at Balmoral Castle in Scotland by Des Penny

Four panorama photo set from Scotland available at OSU event.
Donations of art, music related items, and services welcome.


More items updated regularly at https://www.facebook.com/events/220728471723772/permalink/245742325889053/

Monday, April 17, 2017

Season Finale Photos, April 2017 concert

Thanks to patrons and musicians for the photos.  Congratulations to the soloists and great appreciate to all involved in this year's OSU season.

Carson Drawe after performance of Gershwin on piano
Jocelyn Taylor, after her Mozart performance.
Sarah Sun performed Rachmaninoff on concert.

Soloists with conductors Carylee Zwang and Adam Lambert on concert conclusion.

Soloists with OSU President Harold Shirley at the reception.



Dr. and Mrs. Jim Harrison at Musically Speaking before the concert, directed by Jackie Riddle-Jackson

Thanks to the Heritage Center staff and ushers who assist with OSU concerts. 

SUU Brass provided prelude music.

Larry Life and Steven Swift record the concerts, CDs and DVDs available: http://www.orchestraofsouthernutah.org/concert_order_form?print=1

Mandy Hepworth and Jarom Minkler serve as OSU librarians.  


Soloists backstage with conductors at intermission.

Cellist Leah Brown with Las Vegas patrons.

Reception treats provided by Sub-Zero ice cream.

Roice Nelson, OSU Chorale, and Salt Lake concert visitor.  Music for all ages at OSU concerts.
*Upcoming*

Silver and Gold Soirée on Friday, May 11, 5-7 p.m.
Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Contact Emily Hepworth at 435-233-8213 to purchase tickets.

Orchestra of Southern Utah, P.O. Box 312, Cedar City, UT  84721
Website:  http://myosu.org/

Emily Hepworth
OSU Manager
435-233-8213 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Inspiring Daybreak of New Musical Talent


By Bryce Christensen

No doubt he had the rising of the sun in mind when J.R.R. Tolkien declared that “Dawn is ever the hope of man.”  But the dawning of a luminous new musical career can also stir fresh hope in the hearts of all those who witness it.   Such hope surged among the hundreds of music-lovers who gathered at the Heritage Center on April 6th for the last of the Orchestra of Southern Utah’s 2016-17 Legacy-series concerts—the Roy L. Halversen Young Artists Concert, billed under the theme “Youthful Legacy.”  

Named for an outstanding teacher whose decades of selfless service inspired hundreds of aspiring young musicians at Southern Utah University and in the surrounding community, the Halversen Concert gives rising young musical luminaries a chance to showcase and develop their talents by performing as soloists with the Orchestra of Southern Utah (OSU). Without question, the four young guest soloists selected through competitive auditions to perform at this year’s Halversen concert displayed astonishing talent, so fostering strong new hopes of a Future Legacy in music.

In a pre-concert lecture, Dr. James W. Harrison—former professor of German at SUU and former percussionist with OSU and the Utah Symphony—shared his insights not only into the music performed during this Halversen Concert but also into the pioneering work Professor Halversen gave this area during a long and influential career that made concerts like this one possible.  Laced with memorable anecdotes and clarifying insights, Harrison’s illuminating foray into the biographical and cultural context of the evening’s program primed those who had attended for a rich concert experience.

In welcoming the hundreds who had gathered for the concert, OSU President Harold Shirley again underscored the cultural heritage Professor Halversen had given the region during his career and pointed to the four gifted young soloists as worthy heirs of that heritage.  Shirley indeed marveled at the almost effortless virtuosity of these soloists—all of whom he had heard in rehearsal—recognizing, however, the “prodigious practice” behind this illusory effortlessness, practice sustained only with the support of parents and the instruction of  teachers. 

As the first of the evening’s young Halversen soloists, Dixie High School student Carson Drawe performed brilliantly as the piano soloist for the Third Movement of Gershwin’s Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra,   Performing with a propulsive energy that perfectly fused classical and jazz styles in the way that Gershwin’s compositions demand, Drawe evinced a mastery of the instrument remarkable for a pianist of any age, and astounding in a high schooler.  Testing that mastery was the unrelenting kineticism of this movement, which Gershwin himself identified as “an orgy of rhythms, starting violently and keeping to the same pace throughout.”  Amazed listeners will attest to Drawe’s success in meeting this daunting test.  Under the dynamic baton of OSU assistant conductor Adam Lambert, the orchestra likewise met the test of this frenetic number, sweeping the audience up in the ragtime pulse of this infectious composition. 

As the second of the evening’s Halversen soloists, the thirteen-year-old Ellen Hayashi deeply impressed the audience as the violin soloist for the First Movement of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 19.   From her first tender and muted notes, this prodigy not yet even in high school captivated her listeners.  As the piece swelled and accelerated into a tense striving toward the transcendent, that audience hung on every exquisitely delivered note.  Hayashi’s unfailing command of a challenging composition continued as the number settled into a pensive tranquility before finally soaring into musical thoughts accessible only to angels.  Dumbfounded listeners could only wonder what this wunderkind will do in ten or fifteen years.  With OSU assistant conductor Carylee Zwang ably taking her turn on the podium for this number, the orchestra sustained Hayashi’s accomplishment with a carefully modulated musical backdrop of ethereal subtlety.

As the third of the evening’s Halversen soloists soprano SUU senior Jocelyn Taylor sang the aria “D’Oreste D’Ajace” from Mozart’s Idomeneo. Her incandescent voice aflame with the passion of an anguished Electra, Taylor transported her mesmerized listeners into the wrenching drama surrounding a tormented and suicidal soul.  Though opera is only rarely part of Cedar City’s cultural life, for this unforgettable moment, Taylor brought her audience to the very zenith of this musical art form.   

After the intermission, the fourth and last of the Halversen soloists, Cedar High School student Sarah Sun dazzled as the piano soloist for Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18. Demonstrating an interpretive range exceptional in such a young performer, Sun deftly delivered the unmistakably Slavic power—regal and majestic--of the march-cadenced early measures, the sublime grace and fluidity of melodic later interlude, and finally the irresistible vigor of the exclamatory conclusion.

Because of the services rendered this night by OSU’s more-than-capable assistant directors, Adam Lambert and Carylee Zwang, listeners may have little noted before this number the absence of OSU director Xun Sun (still on sabbatical in China).   But as their awe at his daughter’s artistry on the keyboard grew, many listeners realized afresh how much Cedar City owes to the transgenerational musical endowments of the Sun family.   Cedar City would have lost a still-growing treasury of musical wealth if this family had relocated elsewhere!    

Though the spotlight for Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto rightly belonged to the gifted young Sarah Sun, that number’s hauntingly beautiful French Horn solo by Pete Atkins also deserves appreciative mention.  Sonorous and poignant, that solo fittingly complemented Sun’s superb performance. 

The evening’s final number—the Overture to Rossini’s The Barber of Seville—featured no young soloists.  But as assistant director Adam Lambert weaved the instrumental talents of the entire orchestra into one colorful musical tapestry, the audience realized  that seated before them were scores of older versions of the young Halversen guest soloists, their mature singular talents now welded into a marvelous collective whole.  To be sure, during this widely appreciated number, soloists on oboe (Patrice Ramsey), French horn (Pete Atkin), and clarinet (April Richardson and Sarah Solberg) did briefly stand out, their deft individual musicianship a delight to all.  But it was the collective and seamless melding of instrumental parts—strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion--that most won the audience’s approval.   Whether in passages of serene bliss or in passages of percussive eruption, whether in measures taut with expectant anxiety or in measures insouciant with buoyant joy, the entire orchestra drew listeners into Rossini’s enchantingly comedic harmonies.  And though this concert’s Halversen soloists will bless more than a few future listeners with their distinctive gifts as soloists, no doubt they will often step out of the limelight, mingling those gifts with those of other musicians as members of an orchestra (quite possibly OSU), choir, or other ensemble. 


Listeners left profoundly aware they had experienced the concert dawning of four young musical talents who in future decades will shine both as outstanding soloists and as members of euphonious ensembles.  Such a dawning engenders hope for many precious musical moments in the years ahead.  Departing listeners likewise left conscious of their debt to the event’s civic-minded sponsors (notably, the George S. and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation and the Dixie and Anne Leavitt Foundation).  With the continued support of such sponsors, hope-inspiring dawn will break again and again over the Heritage Center concert stage.  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Youthful Legacy Concert April 6

(poster design by Rollan Fell)


OSU Halversen Soloist to Perform 
in Carnegie Hall
By Emily Hepworth

A hushed anticipation hangs in the air as the lights dim over the audience and the lights brighten the stage. For four young musicians, hearts race as they wait in the wings for their turn. After years of lessons, practice, and a special audition, these youths perform with the Orchestra of Southern Utah. The excitement is almost tangible!

April 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm the Orchestra of Southern Utah presents the biennial R.L. Halversen Young Artist Concert. As this season’s finale concert, we celebrate the legacy of talented youth and a distinguished music teacher. Roy L. Halversen infused a passion for music and the arts in our region. In his honor, OSU offers auditions to youth who excel on their instrument. This year we’ve selected four outstanding musicians, the youngest is only 13. Despite their age, their musical accomplishments have taken them to large performances and to the top of competitions.

Pianist Carson Drawe is a natural entertainer from magic to theater to music. He performed for the Utah Music Teachers State Convention and was a finalist in Dixie’s Got Talent in 2016. Drawe performs Gershwin’s Concerto in F third movement with contagious and invigorating rhythms. Ellen Hayashi has studied violin since she was six years old. She has performed with the Suzuki Youth orchestra of the Americas and the Utah Symphony Youth Guild Salute to Youth. Hayashi performs Prokofiev Concerto No. 1, first movement with melodies that are textural and lyric. Sarah Sun can play ten different instruments. Her piano has taken her to performances through China and competitions such as the Encore Keyboard Competition and UMTA Concerto Competition. Sara Sun recently won second place at American Protégé International Concerto Competition and will perform in Carnegie Hall in November. Sun performs the illustrious Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. Mezzo-Soprano Jocelyn Taylor as vocal performance major at SUU is not shy to the stage. She has performed with Magic Valley Symphony and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. Taylor will perform the powerful aria from Mozart’s Idomeneo: D’Oreste D’Ajace.

The final piece of the night features the musicians of the Orchestra of Southern Utah, all 65 of them. They perform Rossini’s Overture from the Barber of Seville. These volunteer musicians are talented and passionate. They are the legacy of OSU.  Please join us for the R.L. Halversen Young Artist Concert Youthful Legacy for an array of orchestral music conducted by our two amazing Assistant Conductors Adam Lambert and Carylee Zwang.

Audience members can enjoy a concert orientation beginning at 6:15 pm. Musically Speaking will be hosted by Jim Harrison, an outstanding musician and mentor. After the concert, a reception to meet musicians, soloists, and directors will be held for all!

Admission to the R.L. Halversen Young Artist Concert; Youthful Legacy is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and $30 for groups up to 6. Because evening concerts are recorded, it is requested that babies and children under the age of six not attend. Children over the age of six are welcome at all OSU concerts with adult supervision. The concert is sponsored by the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

Tickets available at the Cedar City Heritage Theater Box Office by calling 435-865-2882 or online at http://www.heritagectr.org/. For more information, please visit www.myosu.org, call the Orchestra of Southern Utah at (435) 233-8213, or email osucedarcity@gmail.com.
###

April 6, 2017: OSU’s Youthful Legacy Concert, at the Heritage Theater at 7:30 pm.

Musically Speaking with Dr. James Harrison at 6:15 pm. Lobby Music begins at 6:45 pm.

Reception after the concert.

Tickets: $10.00 Adults, $5.00 Students, $30 groups up to six people. 

Video promo to share: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orA-lInmRyQ

Listening Links to Preview Music: http://osulistening.blogspot.com/2017/03/youthful-legacy-listening-links.html

Program Available to Download: http://www.orchestraofsouthernutah.org/concerts/youthful-legacy

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Valley of Enchantment "touched my soul"


Patron quote, "So beautiful. Love OSU series. The Enchanted Valley touched my soul."

Thanks to everyone involved for a memorable evening.

Program and order form for CD and DVD available at http://www.orchestraofsouthernutah.org/concerts/creative-legacy

Assistant Conductors Carylee Zwang, OSU Executive Director Pete Akins, and guest pianist Christian Bohnenstengel at intermission.
Music Director Xun Sun with poet Danielle Beazer Dubrasky and composer Mark Dal Porto

Dr. Brandon Wiggins repeated his science demonstration for the evening concert, but this photo is from the Jubilee.

Ling Yu with Bryce and Mary Christiansen

Ling Yu and Lisa Cox, stage manager, backstage

SUU Visiting Scholar Wenya Zhang and her daughter



Minkler family provides great support for OSU.

Salt Lake visitor Emily Tipps presents new broadside and poetry by Danielle Beazer Dubrasky, portions of which inspired the new composition.  Red Butte Press:  https://www.lib.utah.edu/collections/red-butte-press/

Jackie Riddle-Jackson welcomes the Musically Speaking audience before the concert.

Composer Dr. Mark Dal Porto describes the process of creating the Valley of Enchantment" commissioned by OSU.

Dr. Nicki Frey describes the amazing geology and wildlife of the Cedar City area.

OSU leadership with visiting composer, his wife, and Dr. Nicki Frey.


Jolene Heit leads the Children's Choir for lobby music before the concert.


Xun Sun and Carylee Zwang with the world premiere music score.

Xun Sun and Adrienne Read, OSU flute, after the concert.

Emily Tipps, Danielle Beazer  Dubrasky and her daughter Olivia after the concert. Danielle's poetry was featured as part of "Valley of Enchantment" and is available from Red Butte Press at https://www.lib.utah.edu/collections/red-butte-press/

Assistant Conductor Carylee Zwang and OSU Board Member Suzanne Tegland protect the harp during intermission backstage.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Creative Marvel that is the Orchestra of Southern Utah

By Bryce Christensen

First, go to a large American city. Second, buy season tickets for that city’s municipal symphony orchestra. Third, prepare for financial pain. After all, the cost of a full-season package may easily run north of $500. What will you receive for enduring this pain? Memorable classical music superbly performed, of course. But if you expect to hear world premieres of new compositions, you’ll likely be disappointed. And if you hope to hear daring arrangements of both new and canonical numbers, arrangements that fuse music with other modes of creative art, you again will likely come away from the concert hall unsatisfied.

No wonder that music lovers could only marvel when leaving Cedar City’s Heritage Center after the latest concert of the Orchestra of Southern Utah (OSU), the February 23rd concert extending this year’s Legacy series with the theme Creative Legacy. How, these overwhelmed music lovers had to be asking themselves, could an orchestra located in Cedar City (with a population of under 30,000) deliver so much to patrons paying so little--just a fraction of what big-city orchestras demand? For this is an orchestra that delivers not only the sublime pleasures of well-known classical music brilliantly performed but also the rare stimulation of stunning new compositions and the bracing challenge of innovative arrangements of works new and old, arrangements that refreshingly link great music to other imaginative arts. The innovative musicianship of the Creative Legacy concert was so daring that it combined, in unforgettable fashion, piercing strains of wonderful music with beautiful visual images, sonorous poetry, and even pyrotechnic science.

If you tell the big-city music lovers who are shelling out far more for much less about this concert, they may—when they have finished gnashing their teeth and pulling out their hair for sheer envy—pack up and move to Iron County.

Reminding his Cedar City audience of their good fortune in living here, OSU President Harold Shirley opened the Creative Legacy promising a performance so incandescent with creativity that it would “light up the house” from its opening number.

The evening’s musical fireworks—that quite literally did light up the house—began under the baton of assistant conductor Carylee Zwang, who led the OSU musicians in an exceptionally high-energy performance of a Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Popular culture has made at least one segment of this work so familiar that one wit has cheekily defined an intellectual as any person who can hear this number without thinking of the Lone Ranger. But it was never the masked man with the silver bullets who captured the attention of the riveted audience this evening.

Indeed, the opening strains of this number are muted and tranquil—featuring a tender solo by cellist Leah Brown—transporting the audience to a serene realm of Swiss alpine meadows far from Wild West fantasies. When the serenity is broken, it is not by Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels but rather by the arrival of a summer thunderstorm, its energy first manifest in a quickening of breezes conveyed by tight interplay between piccolo (soloist Tanisa Crosby), flutes, oboe (soloist Patrice Ramsey), clarinets, and bassoons (solo passage from Julie Kluber), deftly unfolded against a taut backdrop of strings. Brass and percussion join in the onset of the full storm. Mellow flute and English horn passages (played gracefully by Adrienne Read and Virginia Stitt) signal the end of the storm.

But nature is not Switzerland’s only powerful force. And in the famous final section, listeners hear a musical cavalcade celebrating the triumph of brave Swiss soldiers fighting off Austrian oppressors. (The fact that among many 21st-century listeners this exultant conclusion now conjures only images from a serialized Hollywood Western must considerably unsettle Rossini’s graveyard slumbers.) But neither Swiss soldiers nor Hollywood actors commanded center stage for the finale; rather, it was Southern Utah University’s physicist Brandon Wiggins who made every crescendo, every percussive outburst, of the music, apt accompaniment for pyrotechnic science—hydrogen explosions, kaleidoscopic flames spurting from alkaline metals, sparks arcing through the air above front-row seats, even fire leaping from Wiggins’ upraised hand as he ignited its coating of superabsorbent polymers. Not in the most breathtaking climax of any Lone Ranger episode did Rossini’s exhilarating conclusion find a more electrifying embodiment than it did on this night, as a modern Prometheus brought fire down from the heavens into the concert hall. While this was a thrill for all in attendance, the thrill stirred the most insistent questions in the children and adolescents in attendance: So this is classical music? Why didn’t anyone ever tell me before? When can I get more?

As they relished Wiggins’ high-octane entertainment, those in the audience may have wondered how Zwang—remarkable for her nuanced directing in the pacific opening movement—remained completely poised and focused while directing the orchestra from a podium scant yards away from the most pyromaniac performer ever admitted to the Heritage Center.

The only pyromania in the evening’s second number—Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Opus 43—was the dazzling pyromania that pianist Christian Bohnenstengel brought to a keyboard he nearly set aflame. As he played the more kinetic of the Russian-born composer’s twenty-four variations of the original Paganini theme, his fingers—almost a blur to the eye—moved so rapidly that the audience feared they were about to see the evening’s second and third hands burst into flame, with fiery friction setting the keys burning beneath them. But Rachmaninoff’s two dozen variations are not all incendiary—some, including the irresistibly romantic variation made famous by the movie Somewhere in Time—call for a sensitive and delicate touch. In his mastery of the entire range of Rachmaninoff’s variations, Bohnenstengel demonstrated an astonishingly versatile virtuosity. With unobtrusive but unfailing skill, assistant conductor Adam Lambert deftly wove together the collective talents of the orchestra with the individual talent of the guest soloist. Whether the orchestra was echoing a passage first played by Bohnenstengel or anticipating in a range of instrumental voices what Bohnenstengel would then distill in the sound of a single instrument, the entire ensemble remained perfectly coordinated.

After the intermission, the orchestra continued to deliver on their president’s opening promise to “light up the house”—but did so with neither the combustive energy of a piano soloist nor the ardent force of chemical explosives. The luminosity that the orchestra delivered in the evening’s final notes came through a remarkable welding of three different art forms: photography, poetry, and music. As a creative celebration of Southern Utah’s natural splendors, the final number featured a video montage projected onto screens on either side of the stage. Combining pictures taken by a dozen gifted photographers, Charles Shirley turned the walls of the Heritage Center into windows opening onto mountains, valleys, cliffs, rock formations, streams, forests, and wildlife. Enhancing the effect of these magnificent pictures were memorable lines of poetry by SUU creative-writing professor Danielle Beazer Dubrasky. Dubrasky, in fact, introduced the final musical number of the evening by reading, with great feeling, a key passage from her poem.

Though the complements were resplendent, nothing brought more radiance to the concert hall on this night than the final musical number itself, a specially commissioned symphonic tone poem entitled Valley of Enchantment, by Mark Dal Porto, publicly performed for the very first time. In its ten sections (seven accompanied by lines of Dubrasky’s poetry), Dal Porto’s composition tracks a day—from the moment “Dawn sets fire to red cliffs” to the twilight hour, when “Sagebrush roots drink from an ancient sea / the earth has always held.” Within the span of this day, listeners soar over a richly variegated landscape, experiencing a wide spectrum of moods. Between the profound first-light stirrings of the first section to the evening repose of the final section, this diversely textured piece captures the dancing gleams of a mountain brook, the sylvan solemnities of a deep wood, the soaring natural buttresses of a canyon cathedral, the ominous rumble of approaching thunderheads, and the serene repose of evening.

An orchestra merits high praise for a polished performance of any symphonic number. But when that number is entirely new, not a familiar part of any musician’s repertoire, the praise should be even more generous. Accordingly, the audience had every reason to rise to their feet in a standing ovation at the close of this awe-inspiring number, recognizing the genius of its composer, surely, but also honoring the devotion and musicianship of OSU Music Director and Conductor Xun Sun and the members of the orchestra under his baton. Guided by Sun’s impassioned directing, the orchestra delivered a performance both compelling and carefully nuanced of a composition that truly stirred the soul, instilling profound feelings of reverence for the natural grandeurs of our region.

While the orchestra as a whole deserves kudos for a splendid performance of this new number, five soloists deserve special mention: Virginia Stitt drew a richly pastoral song from her English horn; Richard McMaster pierced the empyrean with his trumpet; Patrice Ramsey coaxed warm euphonies from her oboe; April Richardson enticed round and full sonorities from her clarinet; and harpist Jane Taylor reminded all present what instrument the angels play.

Well-led symphony orchestras in other cities could perhaps have matched what OSU delivered in its performance of the Rossini and Rachmaninoff selections. But these orchestras only very rarely premiere magnificent new compositions even remotely comparable to Valley of Enchantment. And trying to find any other orchestra that offers not only newly commissioned compositions such as this but also novel new blendings of music with poetry, photography, and let’s-test-the-limits-of-the-fire-code science is an exercise in futility.

Those who attended Creative Legacy concert left the Heritage Center newly aware that the Orchestra of Southern Utah is a marvel—and newly grateful that sponsors such as the Charles and Gloria Maxfield Parrish Foundation open the door wider to area residents who want to share in that marvel.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Creative Legacy Concert on Feb. 23, 2017

Poster Design by Rollan Fell









Guest Scientist Brandon Wiggins

At Jubilee on Feb. 11

Science, orchestra, and Rossini's music
















An Evening of Enchantment with a
World Premiere, A Science Soloist, and Rachmaninoff

The Orchestra of Southern Utah presents Creative Legacy on February 23 at 7:30 p.m in the Heritage Theater, Cedar City. The concert includes the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninoff, the William Tell Overture by Rossini, and the world premiere of the OSU commissioned Valley of Enchantment by Mark Dal Porto. The concert is sponsored by the Charles and Gloria Maxfield Parrish Foundation.

Musically Speaking with Dr. Nicki Frey and composer Mark Dal Porto begins at 6:15 in the back of the theater. Dr. Frey will be discussing the challenges and importance of preserving the scenic wonders that have inspired the world premiere of Valley of Enchantment. Mark Dal Porto will talk about his composition in detail.

The virtuosic Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Sergei Rachmaninoff features talented guest pianist Christian Bohnenstengel. The piece, created for a solo piano accompanied by symphony orchestra, has delighted audiences with its challenging exhibition of technical precision on the part of the pianist. The guest pianist teaches at SUU, directs the annual “Monster Piano Concerto” for area students, and performs in jazz ensembles as well as many classical music engagements. Adam Lambert directs the piece.


The familiar and dramatic William Tell Overture by Rossini presents a unique multifaceted performance with guest scientist Brandon Wiggins performing science experiments alongside live music. The piece is recognizable as the theme from The Lone Ranger series. It begins with a cello choir at dawn and progresses through a thunderstorm, celebration, and gallop of Swiss soldiers. Carylee Zwang directs.

After finding inspiration in the splendor and majesty of the Southern Utah landscape, Mark Dal Porto composed Valley of Enchantment. The symphonic tone poem is structured in ten sections, each named for the natural scenery it conveys. Danielle Dubrasky’s poetry is combined with a visual presentation produced by Charles Shirley that adds beautiful imagery to complement each section. Local photographers have contributed stunning visual art for this performance. The piece is directed by Xun Sun.

Tickets are available at the Cedar City Heritage Theater Box Office by calling 435-865-2882 or online at http://www.heritagectr.org/. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and $30 for groups up to 6. Because evening concerts are recorded, it is requested that babies and children under the age of six not attend. Children over the age of six are welcome at all OSU concerts with adult supervision. For more information, please visitwww.myosu.org, call the Orchestra of Southern Utah at (435) 233-8213, or email osucedarcity@gmail.com.


Program available for downloadhttp://www.orchestraofsouthernutah.org/concerts/creative-legacy


6:15 p.m. Musically Speaking (pre-concert) with Dr. Nicki Frey and Dr. Mark Dal Porto 
“This program  has received funding from Utah Humanities (UH). UH empowers Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.”  Join us for a discussion of public lands issues and the inspiration for the world premiere music. OSU is facilitating the discussion as a public service, but the presentation reflects only the the opinions of those attending.

Concert at 7:30 p.m.