Daylong orchestra festival to feature 19 performances from public, private and university orchestras

Photo courtesy of Cedar Strings, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Orchestra students from 19 regional public schools and private programs, as well as the Southern Utah University Symphony Orchestra, will perform in St. George at Pine View High on Saturday.

Performances start at 7:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day until 4:30 p.m. The orchestra festival is organized by Ed and Kirsten Candland and is free and open to the public.

See complete schedule of performances below.

For 35 years, the annual Southern Utah String Festival in Cedar City has given performance opportunities to thousands of young string players. Starting in the fall of 2006, the orchestra component has taken place in St. George, featuring live comments from a guest clinician. This year’s clinician is Maestro Lucas Darger of the Southwest Symphony.

Darger began his conducting career at age 16 in Salt Lake City and has gone on to conduct throughout the country. He is also an active violinist with international performance experience and an experienced orchestra clinician and adjudicator.

“I am passionate about the role of music education in helping prepare students for academic, musical, and personal success no matter what career path they choose,” Darger said in a press release.

In addition to Saturday orchestra festival, the solo and ensemble component of the festival will take place March 3, 2018 at Canyon View High School in Cedar City. Each player will receive written comments and ratings from three adjudicators. Requirements and entry forms are available online.

Schedule Saturday’s festival performances:

  • 7:30 a.m. – Pine View High School, Ed Candland, director.
  • 8 a.m. – Desert Hills High School, Kirsten Candland, director.
  • 8:30 a.m. – Pine View Middle School, Ed Candland, director.
  • 9 a.m. – Cedar Middle School 4th period, Krystin Richardson and Christina Carrigan, directors.
  • 9:30 a.m. – Suzuki Strings, Lindsay Szczesny , director.
  • 10 a.m. – Cedar Middle School 8th period, Krystin Richardson and Christina Carrigan, directors.
  • 10:30 a.m. – Canyon View Sinfonia Orchestra, Dave Jordan, director.
  • 11 a.m. – Cedar Middle School Advanced, Krystin Richardson and Christina Carrigan, directors.
  • 11:30 a.m. – Canyon View Philharmonic Orchestra, Dave Jordan, director.
  • Noon – Southern Utah University Symphony Orchestra, Dr. Xun Sun, director.
  • Lunch break.
  • 1 p.m. – Dixie Middle School Orchestra, Kiley Kolodziej, director.
  • 1:30 p.m. – Snow Canyon Middle School, Suzanne Czarnecki, director.
  • 2 p.m. – Desert Hills Middle School Orchestra, Kirsten Candland, director.
  • 2:30 p.m. – Fossil Ridge Intermediate Orchestra, Ed Candland, director.
  • 2:45 p.m. – Sunrise Ridge Intermediate Orchestra, Kirsten Candland, director.
  • 3 p.m. – Fossil Ridge Beginning Orchestra, Ed Candland, director.
  • 3:15 p.m. – Sunrise Ridge Beginning Orchestra, Kirsten Candland, director.
  • 3:30 p.m. – Fossil Ridge Morning Strings, Megan Powell and Ed Candland, directors.
  • 3:45 p.m. – Sunrise Ridge Morning Strings, Abby Ott and Kirsten Candland, directors.

More about Lucas Darger

Beginning his conducting career when he was 16 with the All-City Children’s Orchestra in Salt Lake City, Darger has gone on to conduct orchestras across the nation, including the South Texas Youth Symphony, the Lincoln Youth Symphony, the University of Texas at Brownsville Symphony Orchestra, the Pierre Monteux Festival Orchestra, the University of Iowa Philharmonic Orchestra and the All-University String Orchestra.

As an active violinist, Darger has performed with orchestras throughout the country and also toured internationally. He has served as concertmaster in a number of symphony orchestras.

Darger obtained a bachelor’s degree in violin performance on scholarship from the University of Utah, where he studied conducting with Dr. Robert Baldwin. He earned his master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Iowa, where he studied with Dr. William LaRue Jones, named by the Minneapolis Star Tribune as “one of the most active and versatile symphonic conductors in America today.”

Further, he received a fellowship from the prestigious Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, Maine, where he studied with the acclaimed Michael Jinbo.

Darger, who has returned to his home state of Utah from Texas, enjoys a diverse variety of activities outside of music, including a brown belt in Judo. He describes himself as an avid Utes fan. In his spare time, he may be found hiking with his family in the Southern Utah mountains or riding his motorcycle with his wife through the picturesque canyons – and even skiing once it gets too cold to ride.

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