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. 

LIve music from Wilhelm starts the evening.

Dvorak with Southern Utah String Quartet plus popular music.

Jazz Dekette provides a fitting finale.

Gregory A. Mauger is providing this wonderful photograph from Snow Canyon custom framed for the auction. You can see more of his work at
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 (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 gypsy/jazz 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.
Andy Levine. Title: "Warbird"

Color Country Clan by New York artist Lane Twitchell.

Cards by Ronald Wolter.
Piano watercolor:  Callie Flanagan (OSU member)

Ceramics by OSU Musician Debbie Jackson

Ukulele:  donated by Cedar Music Store

Handmade fused glass bowl:  Carrie Trenholm 

 Road Trippin' gift basket:  Brooke MacNaughtan (OSU member and Board member)

Handmade journal by Cindy Kroening

Utah landscape watercolor:  Tina Davis (local artist)

Asian flower prints:  (donated by OSU member Ariel Rhoades)
Red Canyon Spa

Poetry by Danielle Dubrasky, CD of Mark Dal Porto piece from Feb. concert.

Pastel by Arlene Braithwaite

Groovacious basket

Pastel by Steve Yates

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

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:

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.

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

Emily Hepworth
OSU Manager

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.