Mountain Town Music readies its summer concert season
Last year, Mountain Town Music scheduled 190 free concerts in Park City and throughout Summit County.
This year, the nonprofit is on track to do a little more musical flavor to the community, said Brian Richards, Mountain Town Music’s community conductor of musical affairs.
"We are on pace to do about 200 shows in nine different venues," Richards told The Park Record. "We’re partnering with community organizations such as Vail, Newpark Resort, the Kimball Arts Center and the Park Silly Sunday Market. It’s going to be awesome."
Other concerts will be scheduled at Deer Valley Woodenshoe Park in Peoa, Miners Park on Main Street, the Newpark Plaza, Billy Blanco’s at Quarry Village and at City Park, according to Richards.
"What makes Mountain Town Music so special is each of the venues throughout Summit County offers the community it’s own unique musical experience," he said.
The Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series Deer is a Park City tradition and the majority of the performers are locally grown, he said.
"It’s a beautiful setting on the hill at Deer Valley and the concerts attract our largest crowds of the summer," Richards said. "People of all ages congregate on the hill with their wine and their hula hoops creating a festive Park City atmosphere."
The Newpark Thursday Night Concert Series, located near the Swaner Nature Preserve, features up-and-coming national touring acts.
The Woodenshoe Park Concert Series in Peoa is an intimate rural setting where folks can grill food, sit in swings and enjoy simple tunes by local singer-songwriters, Richards said.
Local singer-songwriters can also be found on Main Street at The Miner’s Park Concert Series.
"This stage offers shade, spirits and a good song," Richards said. "In addition to singer-songwriters you can also catch jazz trios and string bands."
The Canyons Summer Concert Series, located on the hill above the ski beach at Canyons Resort, is the perfect place to soak in a groove.
"This concert series features national recording acts and gives the community as well as visitors the opportunity to enjoy world-class artists and musicians at one of the premier resorts in North America," Richards said.
The Park Silly Sunday Market, an open-air sustainable event that sets up on Main Street every Sunday from June 7 to Sept. 20, mostly showcases local musicians, and attracts audiences from outside the county, Richards said.
"There are the occasional regional or national acts that play Park Silly and there are a lot of people who come up from Salt Lake and Heber to hang out in Park City," he said.
Two of the more recent series Mountain Town Music started are the classical, chamber-music concerts at City Park every Monday that bring in world-class musicians, and the Billy Blanco’s concerts at Pinebrook on Sundays that offers a great mix of local artists and smaller, regional touring acts.
"It all happens organically, and that’s the fun part," Richards said. "We don’t set out to bring certain acts in each year. Instead, we have bands and artists reaching out to us and I’ll listen to everything that comes in. Then I’ll start to schedule them on the stages that would best suit them.
"I think it’s so cool that all of these stages are different, because someone can actually plan their week to hear music," Richards said. "They can start at Deer Valley on Wednesday and go to all the stages every day through Monday and have their minds blown by the diversity of the music and the different environments and atmospheres these stages offer."
In addition, Mountain Town Music provides the musical soundtrack for Savor The Summit, the Kimball Arts Festival and Miner’s Day in City Park.
"We love to partner with local nonprofits and organizations who understand that music brings the community together and is a welcome addition to any event," Richards said. "I think it’s cool that all of the stages and venues we program are so diverse — the different settings and sounds offer something for everybody."
One of Mountain Town Music’s biggest goals is to expose the community to new music, and Richards makes sure that local artists are always a major part of the programming.
"They’re in our community and there are so many amazingly talented musicians in Utah," he said. "What I think is cool is that they run the gamut from 16- and 17-year-olds to 65- to 70-year-olds.
"I’m a music fan, first and foremost, so for me, this is all about discovering new music," Richards said. "Every day, I can’t wait for the summer so everyone can see all of these bands."
Mountain Town Music’s summer season officially starts with the Jambalaya Fundraiser, O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St., on May 30. The event, which will feature Big Sam’s Funky Nation from New Orleans, is open to the public and will serve as a Mountain Town Music membership drive.
"Then the outdoor concerts start on June 5 at Woodenshoe Park Series in Peoa and the summer is off and running," Richards said. "We look forward to dancing with everyone very soon."
For more information, visit http://www.mountaintownmusic.org.
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Local singer-songwriters will get some moral — and a bit of financial — support through a Nashville Unplugged and O.P. Rockwell songwriter contest.