Chamber music will fill the EcoCenter
Throughout the past 10 to 15 years, audience research has shown that chamber-music audiences are enjoying concerts in non-traditional venues, said Nicholas Morrison, senior associate dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.
"So it’s up to the musicians to bring the music to these audiences," Morrison said during an interview with The Park Record.
That’s one of the reasons Morrison’s group, the Logan Canyon Winds, will perform at the Swaner EcoCenter on Sunday, Nov. 10. The concert, which will begin at 4 p.m., is free and open to the public.
Morrison said he is grateful for this special opportunity.
"This will be our first time, not only at the EcoCenter, but in Park City," said Morrison, who is also a professor of clarinet. "The closest we have performed to Park City is at the Assembly Hall at Temple Square in Salt Lake City."
The quintet – clarinetist Morrison, flutist Leslie Timmons, oboist Bonnie Schroeder, bassoonist Carolyn Bodily and hornist Steve Park – will perform four works, all by American composers.
"We chose the entire program with the EcoCenter in mind," Morrison explained. "We wanted to choose music that either reflected the environment or had something to do with the outdoors, open spaces, the environment and human interactions."
The first piece the quintet will play is "Pastorale, Op 151" by Amy Beach.
"It’s very tonal and very soothing," Morrison said. "It’s reflective of a calm afternoon in the outdoors."
The second work is titled "Autumn Music," composed by Jennifer Higdon.
"We thought this would be appropriate for the season," Morrison said. "It’s more modern in harmonics and rhythms.
"To me, the interesting thing is how the composer treats harmonies," he said. "The stacked sounds are like colors and the rhythms line up."
Morrison said one of his colleagues compared the piece to watching leaves fall.
"It’s the perfect metaphor," Morrison said. "Don’t try to predict when the leaves are going to hit the ground, because they aren’t going to do that together."
Jenni Brandon’s "Five Frogs" is a fun, straightforward work that breaks up the night.
"Each of the instruments represent a different frog in their solo movements," Morrison said. "This is a lively work that is very different than the other two pieces."
The performance will close with a more serious work, "Dark Winds Rising," that was composed by Utah-based composer Phillip Bimstein.
"We’re thrilled to say that Phillip will be with us and will give some remarks before we perform the piece," Morrison said. "He interviewed three generations of a Kaibab Paiute family about their tribe’s decision not to allow a toxic-waste incinerator onto their reservation.
"It’s not really an uptempo selection to end the program with, but it’s a thought-provoking work that will conclude the performance with a good message for the times."
The Logan Canyon Winds, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, is able to perform at the Swaner EcoCenter because, like the quintet, the EcoCenter is part of the Utah State University education family.
"Our music department head, Michael Bankhead, has a close association with the Swaner and he sent out an email to the faculty last spring asking if anyone would want to perform at the EcoCenter," Morrison said. "I guess I was the first person to reply, so we got the chance to do the performance."
Sunday’s program will last about an hour, with no intermission, Morrison said.
"So folks will be able to have time to come out and hear the program and still make a 5:30 dinner reservation in town," Morrison said. "I’m really looking forward to it. We really hope this will be an opportunity for us to engage with what, for us, could be a new audience."
Utah State University’s Logan Canyon Winds will perform at the Swaner EcoCenter, 1258 Center Dr. at Kimball Junction, on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 4 p.m. The performance is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. RSVPs are strongly suggested. Contact Sally Tauber by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (435) 797-8936 to RSVP. For more information about the Logan Canyon Winds, visit arts.usu.edu.
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