CEDAR CITY — Thursday marks the exciting start to the Orchestra of Southern Utah’s 2015-2016 concert season: “Rhythm of Life.” The first concert in the series, “Rhythm of the Drum,” celebrates percussion and the drive it brings to music. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Heritage Center Theater in Cedar City.
Opening the concert is Southern Utah University’s “Drumline,” directed by Dr. Lynn Vartan. With award-winning students, the beating of these drums will raise the energy in the Heritage Center Theater to new heights.
Canyon View High School Marching Band, led by David Jordan, will march to the music of Queen. Lynn Vartan and Shane Summers will perform a duet for snare drum and piano.
Richard Strauss’s “French Horn Concerto No. 1” features the orchestra and guest soloist Tang Bing. The French horn, an instrument known for its smooth sound, takes the spotlight with confident fanfare. Simultaneously virtuosic in its requirements of the soloist and pleasing to the ear for its tone, this concerto has become a crowd favorite and one of the most performed of its kind.
The concerto consists of three movements, though the first two are traditionally played without a pause between them. Tang Bing is a horn player with the China Philharmonic and a horn professor at Renming University. OSU Music Director and Conductor Xun Sun directs this challenging piece.
Under the direction of guest conductor Xiao Ming, John Philip Sousa’s “The Thunderer” will be played by both Canyon View High School students and OSU musicians. Maestro Xiao Ming is the music director/conductor of the Hunan Symphony Orchestra of China.
“The Thunderer,” written in 1889, is an exciting and popular march that showcases Sousa’s American style. Sousa is best-known for composing and conducting military and patriotic marches.
Played by both OSU and the Canyon View High School Advanced Orchestra and under the direction of David Jordan, “Sunrise” and “Celebration” from the “Spanish Trail Suite” will be performed.
“The Spanish Trail Suite” explores the different cultures found along the historic route. “Sunrise” honors the Paiute Tribe, featuring Brent Tom as the guest vocalist. “Celebration” incorporates an original hymn and fiddle music to represent the pioneers.
The Spanish Trail was a 1,200-mile trade route that began in Santa Fe and connected New Mexico to five other states. Along the way, it ran through Cedar Valley. Marshall McDonald and Steven Sharp Nelson composed the music with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts.
OSU commissioned the original music and has received national recognition. The video enhancement was filmed near Three Peaks by Video Ideas of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Colonel Al Matheson will provide an introduction to the Spanish Trail.
Drawing from the popular and iconic “Star Wars” soundtracks, the Star Wars Medley ties some of the films’ most famous pieces together. Fan favorites such as “Princess Leia’s Theme” and the infamous “Imperial March” are present in this familiar medley. Arranged by Robert Smith, this rendition of John Williams’s classic score holds nothing back, fully utilizing the brass and ending with the epic “Star Wars Main Theme.”
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.
A major concert sponsor is the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. This program has also received funding from Utah Humanities in celebration of Arts and Humanities Month. UH empowers Utahns to improve their communities through active engagement in the humanities.
Spanish Trail events
Al Matheson will lead a free car tour of Spanish Trail sites in Iron County Saturday. Meet at 2 p.m. at the Main Street Park Pavilion. Attendees are encouraged to bring water and to carpool. The event is free and open to the public.
A chuck wagon dinner hosted by Spencer Bowman is set for 5 p.m. at Iron Springs following the car tour, complete with wagon and buggy rides. If you can’t do the car tour, you are still invited to the dinner, which is $15 per person and includes the wagon ride. Reservations are due via email by Thursday or by sign-up at the concert.
Written and submitted by KRISTIN BEAUCHAMP-BUTT
- What:”Rhythm of the Drum” OSU concert; Spanish Trail car tour; chuck wagon dinner
- When: Concert, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m.; car tour, Oct. 10, 2 p.m.; dinner, Oct. 10, 5 p.m.
- Where: Concert, Heritage Center Theater, 105 N. 100 East, Cedar City; Spanish Trail, Main Street Park Pavilion, 200 N. Main St., Cedar City; dinner, 235 N. 4050 West, Cedar City
- Admission: Concert, $10 adults, $5 students, $30 group up to six; Spanish Trail, free; dinner, $15, includes wagon and buggy rides.
- Contact Emily Hepworth, manager, for more information at 435-233-8213 or by email. For more information, visit the orchestra’s website.
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