Orchestra of Southern Utah presents ‘Rhythm of the Sea’ with Polynesian dancers

Composite image with photos L-R: Jacob Lee, composer, Katherine Lee Maxwell, senior in violin performance studies at Southern Utah University. Location and dates not specified | Photos courtesy of Orchestra of Southern Utah, image composite by St. George News

CEDAR CITY— The Orchestra of Southern Utah invites the community to enjoy a respite from the cold weather with its tropical-themed concert “Rhythm of the Sea” Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Heritage Center in Cedar City.

Under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Xun Sun, several pieces depicting nautical adventures and island themes will be played.

Medley from “Pirates of the Caribbean” composed by Hans Zimmer and Klaus Badelt will make you feel trade winds at your back.  George Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture” will carry you to Havana, Cuba, with its lighthearted melody and traditional Caribbean rhythms. Rimsky-Korsakov’s epic “Scheherazade,” performed by solo violinist Katherine Lee Maxwell, will call to mind exotic Asia from the perspective of 19th-century Russian fairy tale characters such as Sinbad and Prince Ajib.

The evening’s performance will also premier “Polynesian Rhapsody,” an original composition by Jacob Lee. The piece, commissioned by the orchestra, incorporates two traditional Maori songs and will be accompanied by a choir directed by Jackie Riddle Jackson.

Thursday’s concert will be augmented by a live performance from the Southern Utah University Polynesian Club dancers directed by Toanui Tawa, the club’s adviser for 11 years and teacher of English at SUU. The Polynesian club has been active for over 20 years at SUU and the dancers come from many South Pacific nations.

The Feb. 25 concert begins at 7:30 pm at the Heritage Theater.  Tickets are available at the Cedar City Heritage Theater Box Office by calling 435-865-2882 or online at www.heritagectr.org.   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.

Katherine Lee Maxwell and Jacob Lee are the children of Allan and Caroleen Lee and grandchildren of the orchestra’s resident composer Hal Campbell.  Both Katherine Lee Maxwell and her mother are OSU violinists and Jacob was an R. L. Halversen composer last season.

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