‘Heartland Marimba Festival’ brings full week of concerts

Heartland Marimba Festival artists, location and date not specified | Publicity photos courtesy of Matthew Coley, Cedar City News / St. George News

CEDAR CITY — In 2014, marimba soloist Matthew Coley began the “Heartland Marimba Festival” to celebrate the marimba, its history, its performers and music. Each year, the festival has grown, and in 2016 it now encompasses a touring ensemble of professionals performing summer and holiday concerts in eleven cities across the heartland, in addition to a music publishing division and a yearly academy.

Heartland Marimba Festival artists, location and date not specified | Publicity photos courtesy of Matthew Coley, Cedar City News / St. George News
Heartland Marimba Festival artists, location and date not specified | Publicity photos courtesy of Matthew Coley, Cedar City News / St. George News

This year, the academy is hosted in Cedar City at Southern Utah University from June 4-13, with concerts and mini-recitals taking place June 4-11. All events will take place in Thorley Recital Hall in the music building of Southern Utah University and are open to the public.

The festival seeks to connect the public with the immediately entertaining qualities of the marimba. A diverse selection of music will be performed during the Heartland Marimba Festival. Each concert will have something that will speak to everyone. Additionally, artists will talk about the instruments and the music they play during concerts. The festival always welcomes audience members to come on stage to explore the instruments after the concert and ask questions.

The evening concerts will primarily feature the professional artists and teachers of Heartland Marimba Festival Academy Out West: Lynn Vartan, Southern Utah University’s percussion professor; Matthew Coley, festival director and solo artist; Michael Burritt, Eastman School of Music percussion professor and the festival featured guest; and “Clocks in Motion” percussion, acclaimed quartet from Madison, Wisconsin.

The student participants from around the nation will perform solos and chamber pieces throughout the week in the mini-recitals and evening concerts.

Marimba Festival PosterA special feature of Heartland Marimba Festival Academies is the all-academy Marimba Orchestra. Drawing from and honoring the early history of the modern-classical marimba — circa 1920-50 — when Clair Omar Musser assembled marimba orchestras of 50-300 members, the festival closes the Academy with performances by this ensemble. All artists and participants will perform together on arrangements of works such as “La Gazza Ladra Overture by Rossini and “Farandole by Bizet. This year the festival will premiere new arrangements for Marimba Orchestra done by Dan Krumm, an Heartland Marimba Festival Touring Ensemble member.

Event details

  • What: Heartland Marimba Festival Academy concerts and mini-recitals
  • When: June 4-11, 2016
    • Saturday, June 4 | 7:30 p.m. | Opening concert featuring Lynn Vartan and Matthew Coley
    • Monday, June 6 |  1:30-2:15 p.m. | Mini-recital featuring various artists and participants
    • Monday, June 6 | 7:30 p.m. | Concert featuring various artists and participants
    • Tuesday, June 7 | 1:30-2:15 p.m. | Mini-recital featuring various artists and participants
    • Wednesday, June 8 | 7:30 p.m. | Concert featuring various artists and participants, solo and chamber music
    • Thursday, June 9 | 1:30-2:15 p.m. | Mini-recital featuring various artists and participants
    • Friday, June 10 | 1:30-2:15 p.m. | Mini-recital featuring various artists and participants
    • Friday, June 10 | 7:30 p.m. | Concert featuring Michael Burritt with Clocks in Motion, and various participants performing chamber music
    • Saturday, June 11 | 7:30 p.m. | Concert featuring Clocks in Motion, the Marimba Orchestra, and participants
  • Where: Thorley Recital Hall, music building, Southern Utah University, 351 W. University Blvd., Cedar City, Utah
  • Cost: $10 suggested donation — All events above are open to the public.
  • For more information, go to the Heartland Marimba Festival website or email admin@heartlandmarimbafestival.com.

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