Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival to hold awards ceremony, performances at Tuacahn

SOUTHERN UTAH — Approximately 5,000 local student singers, dancers and musicians are poised to participate in the 27th annual Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival, which will commence Tuesday, Feb. 9 and continue throughout the next eight weeks, according to Brett Labrum, program committee chairman.

The Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival, is the creation of the St. George Exchange Club, a local service organization. Since its inception, the Exchange Club has organized, produced, and hosted the festival, providing a forum for talented artists from all over Southern Utah to perform before professional adjudicators who critique and mentor them. Participants in each category vie for Superior ratings as well as top honors. Adjudicators select performers for first, second and third place who will be recognized at the awards ceremony in April. Some of the top participants will be invited to perform at the ceremony which makes this year’s location, Tuacahn “especially exciting”, said James McFadden, current president of the St. George Exchange Club.

“We are pleased and excited to announce that Tuacahn Center for the Arts Amphitheatre in Ivins is the location for this year’s Awards Ceremony and winning performances”, McFadden said. “It’s a distinct honor and privilege. We sincerely hope to make Tuacahn an integral part of this amazing festival for years to come. The generosity and support that Tuacahn and its managers have extended to our club is unprecedented and we can’t wait to watch our students perform on their stage.”

Dixie State University has been a great supporter of the festival for several years, hosting the most popular event, piano, and providing oversight as well as personnel. However, this year, the School of Visual and Performing Arts has decided to make DSU a title sponsor of the event.

“With the backing of Dixie State University,” Labrum said, “our already wonderful event will just get better and better.”

Performances will be held at two new locations this year, the Electric Theater (vocal) and Hurricane High School (choir). Other events are slated for Dixie State University (piano), Dixie High School (strings and orchestra), Snow Canyon High School (dance) and Pine View High School (brass, woodwind and percussion). A complete schedule of events, performance times, and locations can be found at the festival website.

Additional sponsors for this year’s festival include State Bank of Southern Utah, Boulevard Home Furnishings, The Shonie Insurance Group, TCS Advertising and Main Street Insurance, to name a few.

If you would like more information on ways you can sponsor, support or volunteer at this year’s festival, you can visit the festival website.

About the St. George Exchange Club

The St. George Exchange Club has actively served Southern Utah for over 40 years with members who are local business owners, community leaders and volunteer citizens. Complementing the club is the St. George Exchange Club Foundation. Each year, club members are elected to preside over the Foundation Board, which is currently led by Jinks Dabney.

The St. George Exchange Club Foundation is a registered nonprofit and manages all funds donated or raised by the club. Funds raised are returned to the community through various programs the St. George Exchange Club sponsors. In addition to the Southern Utah Performing Arts Festival, The St. George Exchange Club also sponsors and hosts “The St. George Mayors Walk,” “Iron Kids Fun Run,” “Student of the Month Recognition,” “Freedom Shrine installations and dedications,” the “Give Me Liberty” program, serving area fifth-graders, and “Give a Kid a Flag to Wave” at the annual Veterans Day Parade in Washington City.

The St. George Exchange Club, in cooperation with Dixie State University, also awards each area high school’s top graduating senior with First Year Tuition Grants and in 2015 the club contributed over $100,000 to help the City of St. George build the All Abilities Park which is slated for dedication this coming spring.

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