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Utah Conservatory students to perform at Newpark

The young musicians of one of the Utah Conservatory's Park City Rockers bands plays Newpark Plaza last year. The Conservatory will host another Newpark show this year on Friday, Aug. 17. (Photo by Britta Mobley)
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Five years ago, the Utah Conservatory began holding its summer recitals at the Newpark Plaza stage.

The performances usually start at 4 p.m. and run until 7 p.m. This year’s event will be held on Friday, Aug. 16.

Aaron Mitchell, manager of the Utah Conservatory, said the recitals begin with solo performances and end with three of the conservatory’s bands.

The solos will be performed by voice, violin, piano, guitar and drum students and the whole event will feature everything from classical to rock and jazz.

"The individual performances will run between an hour to an hour-and-a-half and then we’ll have Donald Holt’s band Hercules play, one of our Park City Rockers group and our jazz band play," Mitchell told The Park Record. "All the musicians participating in the concert are our summer students — including the ones who took the conservatory’s private lessons and the ones who participated in the group lessons."

The ages of the musicians range from nine to 17.

"Our jazz band usually features our older students, and this summer we had one adult student and a couple of students who are in high school," Mitchell said. "Since this is the summer program, we don’t have as many students as we do during the fall and winter."

Summer sessions began in June and the day of the recitals is the last day of the classes.

"This is a culmination of the summer term and it’s a big celebration for the kids and their families and friends," Mitchell said. "The kids are excited for this show and the fact that it’s in the summer is more exciting for them because the classes at the conservatory are part of a smaller program that usual. So these kids don’t get buried in the sea of kids that come in during the school year."

Throughout the past five years, Mitchell has noticed a trend.

"The funny thing is the fact that during the summer, the attendance to some of the classes are a little spotty, but once the show’s date is announced, the kids start coming back because they want to be a part of the concert," he said. "All of a sudden they become serious and want to rehearse more."

Mitchell said he loves presenting the recitals outdoors.

"We got involved with Newpark because we wanted to do a fun summer event," he said. "Instead of hiding inside a church or another venue for recitals, we wanted to do something out in a place where the whole community would see us."

The first year the Utah Conservatory did a showcase outside was at Quarry Village, Mitchell explained.

"That was great and fun, but the stage was a little too small," he said. "When we got word that there was a stage being built at Newpark a few years ago, we thought that would be a better place."

Once Mitchell saw the stage, he knew it would be perfect for the students.

"We wanted to try to do something there and become a part of that whole scene because the kids work so hard to be able to play the recital," he said. "Every year the recitals we hold there have been successful.

"People can sit outside at the restaurants and eat their dinner, and we’ve seen them come afterwards," Mitchell said. "I’d love to do more of our shows over there."

Admission to the recitals is free.

"We want to invite the community to come see the students play," Mitchell said. "These kids are good and so much fun to watch.

"They are at the caliber that if we were booking them for shows, they could charge for their services," he said. "The groups are great as well and we just want the public to see them play."

The Utah Conservatory will host a free concert with their students on Friday, Aug. 16, at Newpark Plaza at Kimball Junction. The concert will run from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.utahconservatory.com.


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