Monday, October 22, 2012

Messiah Soloists and Chorale Starts Sunday, Oct. 28

On behalf of the Orchestra of Southern Utah, we thank you for auditioning for a solo in this year’s upcoming Messiah. We had far more audition than we had slots. Even if you were not chosen for a soloist this year, we would love to have you sing with us in the chorus. The following have been chosen for the following solos:

Larry Johnson                      Comfort Ye and Every Valley
Annie Powell                       Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive and O Thou That Tellest
Shaye Leavitt                       There were Shepherds; And the Angel Said Unto Them; 
                                             And Suddenly
Laurice Williamson             Then Shall the Eyes of the Blind; He Shall Feed His Flock
Melissa Leavitt                    Come Unto Him
Taliah Byers                        He Was Despised
Jan Pressgrove                    I Know That My Redeemer Liveth
Alex Byers                          Behold, I tell you a Mystery; The Trumpet Shall Sound
Christina Meikle                 If God Be For Us

The Chorus will be singing: And the Glory; For Unto Us a Child is Born; Glory to God; His Yoke is Easy; Lift Up Your Heads; Hallelujah; Since By Man Came Death; and Worthy is the Lamb

Harold Shirley, President of the OSU Board
Kevin Baker, Cedar City Chorale Director
Pete Akins, OSU Executive Director
Gerald Rheault, OSU Assistant Conductor

Chorale rehearsals start this Sunday, Oct. 28,  from 7:00-9:00 pm at the LDS Church located at 256 South 900 West in Cedar City.  Community members are invited to join the Chorale.  The Chorale especially needs more male voices.  Chorale members do not need to audition, but should be able to commit to attending all rehearsals.

The Chorale will rehearse October 28, November 4, November 11, November 18, November 29 and December 2.

Dress rehearsals will be held with the Orchestra on December 6th (7 p.m.) and 8th (9 a.m.)  in the Heritage Center.  Please bring your own score to rehearsals.  Scores are available at Cedar Music Store and Studio, 602 South Main Street in Cedar City.

The Messiah concerts will be performed Sunday, December 9th and Monday, December 10th at the Heritage Center at 7:30 p.m.  The concert is a free gift to the community thanks to sponsorship from State Bank of Southern Utah and the Leavitt Group.  The Orchestra musicians and Chorale members donate their time to make this annual performance possible. Tickets are available at the Heritage Center box office.

For more information please contact Dr. Kevin Baker at 865-8380 or

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Brahms, Beethoven and Strauss Nov. 8

             Renowned violinist Dr. Paul Abegg joins the Orchestra of Southern Utah to present the Brahms, Beethoven & Strauss Concert on Thursday, November 8 at 7:30 pm at the Heritage Center in Cedar City.

            Abegg and the Orchestra perform Violin Concerto in D by Brahms. Brahms dedicated the three movement concerto to his friend, the violinist Joachim.  Joachim declared the concerto, which was Brahms only violin concerto, to be one of the four great German violin concerti.

            Abegg is Director of String Studies at Dixie State College where he teaches violin, viola, and conducts the Dixie State Symphony Orchestra.  As a soloist, Abegg has performed recitals throughout the United States as well as in Japan, Brazil, France, and England. His Chamber music experience includes performances with the Colson String Ensemble in France. He has played with the Lansing, Jackson, Flint, Kalamazoo, Flagstaff, Utah, Ballet West, Phoenix, and Spokane symphonies. Abegg has also performed in numerous orchestra festivals including the Northwest Bach Festival, Gilmore Piano Competition Orchestra (MI), Pine Mountain Music Festival (MI), Brevard Music Center, (NC), National Orchestral Institute (MD), Great Music West Festival (UT), Bear Lake Music Festival (UT), and the Grand Teton Music Festival Seminar, (WY).

            The Orchestra also performs the popular Academic Festival Overture by Brahms with rousing school songs celebrating college days. The program will be completemented by the somber 2nd movement of the Symphony #3 (Eroica) by Beethoven and Seranade for Winds by Strauss. 

            Beethoven originally wrote Eroica (Italian for “heroic”) with the intention of dedicating the symphony to Napoleon Bonaparte.  Beethoven admired the ideals of the French Revolution, and viewed Napoleon as their embodiment.  He decided, however, to dedicate the piece to Prince Franz Joseph Maximillian Lobkowitz, as he could collect a fee for doing so.  This dedication proved later to be a wise decision on Beethoven’s part, as Beethoven became disenchanted with Napoleon after declared himself Emperor of the French.  Upon hearing of Napoleon’s death in 1821, Beethoven stated, “I wrote the music for this sad event seventeen years ago” (referring to the 2nd movement of Eroica).

            Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He was born in 1864 in Munich, Germany.   He wrote his first composition at the age of six, and continued to write music almost until his death in 1949.  Strauss was a well-received composer, even through politically-charged times.  He composed music under the rule of the Kaiser, Fredricke Ebert, and Adolf Hilter.  Under Hilter’s rule, Strauss accepted the honorary position of president of the State Music Bureau, a post for which he did not know he had been nominated.  He accepted the position to protect his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandchildren.  He was also determined to preserve and conduct the music of banned composers such as Mahler and Debussy.  Strauss proved to be a thorn in the Nazi’s side for years, performing banned music and even composing political operas with Jewish composers.

            Major sponsors for the concert are the Utah Arts Council, Genevieve Gardner, and June Thorley.  “We appreciate the financial support which helps keep our ticket prices within reach of our community,” said Sara Penny, OSU manager.  “We are fortunate to live in an area where the arts are valued.  Our concerts are only possible because of the dedicated service of the musicians and the donations of individuals, businesses, and government.”
The Orchestra of Southern Utah Brahms, Beethoven & Strauss Concert featuring violinist Paul Abegg is performed Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 pm.  Doors open at 6:45.  The OSU Woodwind Trio provides lobby music with Virginia Stitt, Sarah Solberg, and Hilary Stavros.

Tickets may be purchased for $10 adults and $5 for students (ages six and up); groups of six are $30 per concert.  Tickets are available at the Cedar City Heritage Center Box Office, 105 N. 100 E. or by calling 435-865-2882. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended. Discounted season tickets are also available for $30.

Children over the age of six are welcome at all the concerts with adult supervision.  OSU requests that babies and children less than six years old not attend as evening concerts are recorded.

For more information, please visit, email, or call Sara Penny at (435) 586-2286.