Utah Symphony, BYU Ballroom Dance Company to kick off DSU’s Celebrity Concert series

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ST. GEORGE — October is the month in which live concerts in St. George make their splash. And true to form, Dixie State University’s Celebrity Concert Series opens the 2018-19 season with performances in October by the Utah Symphony, followed by the BYU Ballroom Dance Company.

The Utah Symphony, which returns to St. George on Oct. 4, is led by associate conductor, Conner Gray Covington, whose contract with the orchestra was recently extended into the 2019-20 season. Covington, a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, has worked with orchestras across the United States and the world in places such as Zurich, Switzerland, and Copenhagen, Denmark.

The program for St. George includes the charming and popular “Peer Gynt Suite No. 1” by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. Conceived as incidental music to the play by the equally famous playwright Henrik Ibsen, Grieg’s music has grown in popularity in some degree to outshine the play.

It’s followed by another work with literary inspiration: Tchaikovsky’s “Romeo and Juliet Overture.” Written when the composer was 28, this work, which is less overture and more symphonic tone poem, did not meet with instant acclaim. But the test of time has seen it also grow into a stalwart of symphonic repertoire.

The program ends with Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2.” Brahms, it seems, always lived within the shadow of the great symphonist Beethoven. Ever the perfectionist, it took him 21 years to complete his first symphony. That work was immediately dubbed the “tenth symphony,” in reference to the nine composed by Beethoven. The comparisons were always there lurking in the shadows.

But Brahms’ second symphony turned out to be the most cheerful and bucolic of the four he composed, at least on the surface. Its light-hearted nature belies an introspective depth that has led some to call it his most elegiac and rearward-looking symphonic work. Even after some 140 years, this symphony still touches every human heart with its soaring melodies and rich, intricate tapestry of sonorities and counterpoint.

The Utah Symphony continues to make a strong impression internationally in the classical music world. During its 2016 performance in Carnegie Hall, the New York Times described the performance of a program of Haydn, Prokofiev and Bartok as “… exciting, colorful and fervent.” Musical America labeled the symphony’s Haydn as being played with “… bold vigor, as well as the more subtly delightful ….”

BYU Ballroom Dance Company

Appearing at DSU on Oct. 12, Brigham Young University’s Ballroom Dance Company is recognized as a treasured and unique dance ensemble. Its production “Swing ‘n’ Sway” is a spectacular show presenting ballroom dance in a theatrical environment with a contemporary point of view.

Its innovative choreography is compelling, engaging, and just plain fun. Couples dance a romantic waltz, move to the rhythms of Latin America. More surprises lurk throughout the performance, making “Swing ‘n’ Sway” a family-friendly show that should not be missed.

Event details

  • What: Dixie State University’s Celebrity Concert Series.
    • Utah Symphony.
    • BYU Ballroom Dance Company.
  • When:
    • Utah Symphony – Thursday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.
    • BYU Ballroom Dance Company – Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: DSU Cox Performing Arts Center, 385 S. 700 East, St. George.
  • Tickets may be purchased online, in person at the DSU Ticket Office inside the Cox Performing Arts Center, or by phone at 435-652-7800.
    • Utah Symphony – $30.
    • BYU Ballroom Dance Company – $25.


  • Dixie State University Ticket website
  • Celebrity Concert Series website

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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