Monday, April 25, 2016

"Rhythm of Dance" Ends Season With a Flourish

Dance music ended the OSU season with a flourish. Thanks to all of the musicians, technical team, and audience for a wonderful evening.  Concert review at
(Photos by Des and Sara Penny, and Emily Hepworth.)

Adam Lambert, Carylee Zwang, Xun Sun, and Qi Li conducted the "Rhythm of Dance" concert.

Cedar Music Store and Sudio's Children's Choir directed by Jolene Heit provided lobby music before the concert. Harry Taylor, served as pianist.
After the Mozart Minuet

Soloists Natalie Bradshaw, violin, and Hannah Bradshaw, viola
Dr. Keith Bradshaw wrote the American Suite dedicated to his daughters
Dr. Xun Sun conducted the world premiere.

Charming new work from Charleston to Barn Dance.

SUU Ballroom Dancers joined OSU for the Strauss

Conductors being recognized by the audience at the end of the concert.

Musicians help sort music for the library storage after the concert.
Making the Subzero ice cream.

Randy Lawrence Seely is creating artwork on a violin.  This was the work in progress at the concert.
 More info on the upcoming 
“Silver and GoldSoirée, Silent Auction and Raffle”

 Dress rehearsal with the SUU Ballroom Dance Team.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Celebrating the Music of Dance

By Bryce Christensen

“The dance,” declared the French poet Charles Baudelaire, “can reveal everything mysterious that is hidden in music . . . . Dancing is poetry with arms and legs.”  Baudelaire would have found confirmation for his words had he joined the hundreds who gathered in Cedar City’s Heritage Center on April 21st for the Orchestra of Southern Utah’s concert dedicated to the theme “Rhythm of Dance.”  Indeed, during the evening’s final and culminating number, Strauss’ Redetzky March, the audience thrilled not only to the propulsive energy of a 19th-century waltz masquerading as a march but also to the grace and precision of Southern Utah University’s ballroom dance team, who waltzed across the stage and through the concert-hall aisles, their every move a kind of “poetry with arms and legs” revealing “everything mysterious . . . hidden in music.”

But long before SUU’s dancers made their poetic and revelatory entrance, OSU’s gifted musicians had already imaginatively conveyed their listeners to a half dozen ballrooms and dance halls.  For as OSU President Harold Shirley made clear in his welcoming remarks, this was an evening devoted to the magic of dance.

And it was into the spritely joyousness of French gavottes that OSU musicians first carried listeners, beginning the evening with three movements from Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major. Under the baton of conductor Carylee Zwang, the orchestra moved nimbly from one dance style to another, transitioning from folk-dance gavottes in the first of the three movements selected for the evening into the double-time rambunctiousness of a French bourrée in the second and then finally into an exuberant French gigue, originally inspired by a British jig, in the third and last.

Still in dance mode but playing at the more courtly tempo of a minuet, the orchestra next performed the third movement of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.  Under the direction of guest conductor Qi Li, the orchestra seemed to metamorphose into an elegantly bewigged18th-century ensemble providing regal music for dignified aristocrats executing polished and deliberate dance moves--exquisite and decorous--surrounded by palatial splendor.

But royal stateliness gave way to dance rhythms bursting with romantic spontaneity when the orchestra next turned to two of Dvorák’s Slavonic Dances, performed under the baton of conductor Adam Lambert.  Beginning in a lilting and bucolic pastoralism, the first of these numbers quickened into the wild passion of peasant couples hardly touching the ground as they gamboled in wild delight.  This same electric intensity characterized the second of these Eastern European folk dance, erupting in its first measures into a kind of tarantella-like frenzy before modulating into a pacific interlude (giving doubtlessly exhausted dancers a chance to catch their breath) before exploding again into sheer kineticism.

But the frolics of Eastern European dancers faded away when the Orchestra performed as its fourth number Summer Dances by Brian Balmages, again under the direction of Carylee Zwang.  In eerily unearthly tones, the opening strains of this dance-themed composition suggested the alien choreography of some extraterrestrial dancers, perhaps those gracing ballrooms on Neptune or Uranus.  Mars must have been the setting for the dances of a later passage marked by martial cadences and military fanfare. But when the dance harmonies grew melancholy and dark, listeners knew they had returned to the only planet where deep grief inspires sorrowful mourning dances—like those found in Korea, Paraguay, and Melanesia.  Balmages’ harmonies redolent with the pathos of deep loss ultimately yielded to concluding harmonies of hope, reminding listeners that men and women who dance in mourning today may dance in joy tomorrow.

It was decidedly American forms of dance that first captured the limelight after intermission as the delighted audience found itself hearing a premiere performance of Keith Bradshaw’s specially commissioned composition American Suite, a capacious celebration of the regional and ethnic diversity of American dance, directed by Xun Sun. Who could resist the sashaying Southern feistiness of the opening Charleston movement or the rich and faintly melancholic nostalgia suffusing the Blue Ridge Waltz that followed?  Likewise deeply engaging, the third movement, puckishly named Flibberty Jitterbug, captured all the spontaneity and creative freedom, all the restless sense of emancipation, ignited by the jazz revolution of the Twenties, while the fourth movement—Slow Me Down Blues—exposed listeners to soul-piercing tones welling up from the same wells of feeling that find voice in African-American work songs and spirituals.  But it was the string-up-the fiddle-and-clap-your-hands boisterousness of a Midwestern hoedown that swept over the audience during the fifth and final movement, aptly named Dance Down the Barn.

The standing ovation at the close of this number recognized the exceptional gift Keith Bradshaw had given OSU patrons with this splendidly variegated number, the remarkable musical vision Xun Sun had demonstrated in bringing this composition to performance, and the skilled musicians who had responded so ably to his baton.

But those rising for that ovation were especially applauding the two featured soloists for this number: Keith Bradshaw’s daughters Natalie Bradshaw on the violin and Hannah Bradshaw on the viola.  Both astonishingly poised for their age, these two musical artists delivered every passage with complete mastery and nuanced interpretation.  Laudable in their rendition of all five movements, these two rising luminaries shone particularly brightly in Blue Ridge Waltz, where Natalie’s ethereal violin poignantly complemented Hannah’s deeply probing viola.  Together, the Bradshaws—father and daughters—left the audience indebted to them for their collective musical contribution to the community.  The Barlow Endowment for Music Composition was instrumental in supporting the creation of this new music.

No sooner had the echoes of a Nebraska hoedown died out than the orchestra transported the audience across the Pacific to share in a very different kind of dancing.  Quite appropriately, it was Qi Li who led the orchestra in performing Dance of Yao, a composition alive with the pulses of Chinese folk dance.  Unmistakably grounded in the natural rhythms of Chinese rural life and of China’s yin-and-yang Taoist philosophy, this enchanting number brimmed with the life of a verdant Chinese countryside.  Yet attentive listeners also caught the hints of China’s imperial splendor as Asia’s Middle Kingdom.  As a memorable foray into one of the world’s oldest cultures, this number featured four talented soloists.  Violinist Ling Yu (serving for this concert as Concertmaster) dazzled with passages by turns tender and striving. Clarinetist Sarah Solberg poured a rivulet of liquid euphony through her single-reed instrument.  Oboist Brad Gregory made his double-reed sing with a sonority beloved by Mandarin and English speakers alike. And bassoonist Julie Kluber sent her baritone double-reed plunging into the low registers where the earthiness of China connects with the earthiness of America.

A range of soloists also garnered appreciate attention in a number in which the dance theme turned satiric—even burlesque—namely, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld Overture, conducted by Carylee Zwang.  But the five soloists featured in this number all captured the spotlight in the earlier passages of the number--before the irreverent comedy broke out in the “infernal galop” (popularly known as the “can-can”) late in the composition.   Once again, Ling Yu demonstrated her rare musicianship in drawing a lustrous brilliance from her violin, while Brad Gregory again made his oboe an insistent instrument of enchantment.  Adrienne Read breathed a stream of silvery radiance through her flute, while Kendra Leavitt sent a cascade of glittering notes out from her harp over enraptured ears.  And Leah Brown made the lyrical eloquence of her cello so potent that listeners might have supposed they were hearing echoes of Orpheus’ own lyre.   

When, after the final Strass number, strikingly complemented by the performance of SUU’s ballroom dance troupe, the audience rose for a second standing ovation, they did so with a new awareness of the relationship between ears that hear great music and of feet that waltz, tap, salsa, tango, and otherwise dance in poetic and revelatory response to that music.

And though they did not whirl and dance the way SUU’s ballroom couples did, the four conductors who took turns on the podium performed their own valuable choreography, one that inspired confidence that the exceptional leadership that Xun Sun has demonstrated as OSU’s Music Director and Conductor for thirteen years is now influencing not only the instrumentalists in the orchestra seats but also the assistant and guest conductors who share the podium. 
And, of course, the overall choreography of the entire evening was possible only because of generous sponsors—namely, Charles and Gloria Maxfield Parrish Foundation and Sally Langdon Barefoot Foundation.  These two foundations helped defray the costs making this exultant festival of dance possible.     

Friday, April 15, 2016

Silver and Gold Soirée: Silent Auction and Raffle

Silver and Gold Soirée Benefits OSU

By Suzanne Tegland

Cedar City:  The Orchestra of Southern Utah took audiences on a journey of rhythm this season and presents one more local event on Friday, May 13th, in Cedar City.  The “Silver and Gold Soirée: Silent Auction and Raffle”, now in its second year, is set for 5-7 pm at Stonehaven Special Events, 647 S Cross Hollow Road.  Tickets are $10 and available only in advance from Emily Hepworth, OSU Manager, 435-233-8213.

The Orchestra of Southern Utah continues to increase the offerings of live music, but tickets alone cover less than 10% of annual costs and we are hesitant to raise those prices because we want to keep the music accessible for our community.  Additional funding is therefore essential to helping the orchestra thrive and your support is much appreciated,” said Hepworth.  “We are also adding more educational outreach through increased school assemblies and our 4th grade musical passports so more children will experience the excitement of live music.”

This will be an evening of fun and sophistication.  OSU musicians are providing live music for the garden party with the Southern Utah String Duo, a Brass Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Bob Gordon and David Bolsover, and a Flute Trio including OSU woodwind section members.  A delightful assortment of refreshments will be served, including both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages.  Auction items have been donated by local artists and businesses, community arts organizations, and OSU musicians.  Directors of the event are OSU musicians Ariel Wolter Rhoades and Suzanne Tegland.

“The Orchestra appreciates the donations from local businesses, individuals, and artists for the event,” said Rhoades.  Donations include numerous paintings from the Southern Utah Watercolor Society and fanciful items from Artisan's Gallery. A dinner with the OSU conductors will also be offered in the auction this year. Additional auction items inlcude a violin being transformed into visual art by Randy Lawrence Seely, a fine art photo of Cedar Breaks from Gregory Mauger of P&G Photography, two sets of jewelry from Castro & Co., cultural treasures from Susan Allman, a quilt from LuAnne Brown, a handmade ceramic pitcher by Zach Kunz, and much more.

“OSU is also honored to have received several high quality pieces of art in support of our fundraising efforts from Lane Twitchell, a visual arts professional who works in New York City on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts,” said Hepworth.  He has produced a body of museum quality paintings over the course of his focused studio career as well as design work and commercial imagery for publications and corporate clients. To see additional works 

We are continually updating our blog as we receive additional items. For more information about the Silver & Gold Soirée and photos of items:
Music, food, and fun await you at the orchestra’s 2nd Annual Silver & Gold Soirée: Silent Auction and Raffle.  Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Who:  Orchestra of Southern Utah
What: Silver and Gold Soirée: Silent Auction and Raffle
Where:  Stonehaven Special Events, 647 S Cross Hollow Road, Cedar City
When: Friday, May 13, 2016
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Cost:  $10 per person
Why:  Raise funds for upcoming season
More information:  Emily Hepworth, OSU Manager, 435-233-8213 for tickets and more information or

Items updated on the blog regularly

87 piece china set thanks to Bob Hamilton valued at $2500:

Fine art photographer Gregory Mauger, of P&G Photography, and acclaimed framer, Sean Arnold, of The Art Center, are proud to support the Orchestra of Southern Utah.  
​Cedar Breaks #1
First Printing. COA attached to back of the picture. This is the only copy available not through a third party. Custom framing and matting, including conservation grade glass.
Retail Value: $1,000.00
Utah Shakespeare Festival is donating a pair of tickets for the 2016 season.
Dinner with OSU conductors: Adam Lambert, Jackie-Riddle Jackson, Carylee Zwang and Xun Sun.

Four Ballroom dance lessons certificate.  Rhumba, Swing, and West Coast Swing.  4  Private Lessons in American Style, Social Level Ballroom Dance. Includes one overview lesson and 3 subsequent lessons. Lessons are 45 minutes in length, date to be determined. No partner necessary.

Boutique basket donated by Brooke MacNaughtan

Stunning silver and glass bead necklace ($350 value) donated anonymously.

Ukulele donated by Cedar Music Stores and Studio

Special thanks to the Southern Utah Water Society for wonderful donations:

Watercolor by local artist, Tina Davis

Watercolor by local artist, Dorothy Uherka

Watercolor by local artist, Mary Jo Porter, framed
Ceramic plates with shell design.

Earrings Peridot set in sterling silver donated by Castro and Co.

Oil Painting by Jerral Derryberry
Set of pendant and earrings: Amethyst & CZ set in silver from Castro & Co. 

Falls Melody
Created for the Soiree by Local Artist Teri Rochford

"Music of the Highlands" by Dalhath Windberg
Vintage Mink Fur Stole by Haggarty's
55 years old, great condition
Donated by Michele Tincher
8x10 Oil Painting of Zion by Ron Wolter 

Works from the series "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" various editions, including one full set of three laser cut paper over giclee print, 12" x 12", 2002.
This body of work was produced in association with Cedar City native Glen Nelson. Glen is a 25 year New Yorker who has made great strides in developing various artistic projects with many roots leading to The Beehive State.  This project was Mr. Twitchell's mediation on the theatrical life in New York.   The works included a handmade booklet describing them in detail. A photocopy of which has been provided to OSU for interested collectors.

Handmade pitcher by Cedar City local, Zach Kunz. It is porcelain fired in a cone 10 salt firing. It is also dishwasher and microwave safe.
Quilt donated by LuAnne Brown

8 red glass water goblets
5 Christmas tree dinner plates
4 red cloth napkins with embroidered Christmas tree
2 table runners, 1 forrest green and the other is blue and green tree print (donated by Susan Allman)

Homespun embroidered fabric by Hmong women.  54” x 17"  The Hmong lived in Laos and helped the USA during the Vietnamese War. Many settled in the US and continue to make their traditional fabrics. (donated by Susan Allman)
Randy Lawrence Seely is creating artwork on a violin.  This was the violin in progress at the April concert.
Handmade tile from Asheville NC 4 x 4 in. (donated by Susan Allman)
Color Country Clan by Lane Twitchell, minimum bid $1000.

"Color Country Clan" enamel and pencil on paper in a two part configuration. 18" x 18", 2011.This work is a drawing resulting from the artist's City Windows project, which produced a set of ornamental windows for a homeless shelter in New York City.  It is part of the Liberty Island series of works, which bears the motif of a family of sea birds with The Statue of Liberty on the horizon.  Its unusual diamond composition makes for a dramatic physical presence and hopefully it's color will add a note of delight to the home of an OSU benefactor.  ($1,000 minimum bid)

Lane Twitchell is a Brooklyn NY based visual artist with deep connections to the artistic communities of Cedar City.  From his Mother, Mary Dalley (Cedar High Graduate) he developed a great love of The Festival City.  His Aunt Ada Carpenter taught at S.U.U. and was a department chair.   Both of these Wayne County born ladies were related to Orien Dalley, their Uncle who was instrumental (literally!) in developing The Orchestra of Southern Utah.
Based on this love of the tradition of the arts in Southern Utah, and his pride as the great-nephew of Mr. Dalley, Mr. Twitchell has generously donated some works as benefit incentives for the OSU.

Handmade cross from Guatemala 8 x 71/4 in.

Framed handmade framed tile of an exotic bird — black with turquoise.  Made by local UT artist  9 x 5 in.
(donated by Susan Allman)

Wines from Iron Gate Winery 

2014 Riesling - Our Riesling grapes come from the Rogue Valley AVA near a small town called Cave Junction in the southwestern corner of Oregon.  The vineyards are just 50 miles off the Pacific coast that lie among the hills taking advantage of those cool ocean breezes that help make this distinctly exceptional wine.  Our Riesling is a crisp and sumptuous blend of 90% Riesling and 10% Chardonnay with a color that is clear and bright with a very pale golden hue.  The nose teases you with sweet grape fruit and citrus, apricot and granny smith green apples and if you linger there for just a bit longer you will notice a hint of 
eucalyptus at the very end.  The crisp and dry taste delivers what the nose promises with more of that wonderful tart grapefruit, apricot, green apple and a pinch of lemon.

Chardonnay 2013 We took some very special chardonnay grape that we harvested from the Central Coast. We fermented and aged on stainless steel to keep this wine fruit forward and clean. The result was another spectacular wine, but this one is preferred by those that like a bit of tartness in the wine, a hint more of the fruit and a clean crisp finish.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2011This is a big Sonoma style Cabernet Sauvignon that so many have come to expect from this very popular AVA.  It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot both of which have been sourced from small family owned vineyards in the Sonoma Valley.  The wine pours in a beautiful opaque purple and scarlet with a nose of blackberry, black cherry, green olive and leather with barrel influences of vanilla and oak. The delicious palate offers a dry wine with subtle dark fruit of currants, black cherry and blackberry and a hint of bell peppers with bold yet balanced tannin on the mid-palate. The barrel brings American oak influences of wood shavings and toast.

Tempest (Red Blend) – This is a blend of Paso Robles Tempranillo, Sonoma Valley Cabernet and Merlot and a bit of our Utah grown Red Field Blend so hold on because this is a tempestuous little blend indeed!  This is a dark wine with a rich red hue pulling you to a nose of cherry, rhubarb with a hint of earth and red current.  The palate is youthfully fruit forward with juicy red cherry, light citrus, with a mint in the mid palate and a finish of berries.