Angels in Autumn entering second year | ParkRecord.com
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Angels in Autumn entering second year

By MATT JAMES Of the Record staff

Walk through the halls of the Utah Conservatory and you’re likely hear a whole variety of sounds, piano students practicing in one room, a guitar instructor leading his student in the next. At the end of the hall, there might be a voice class working in the recital hall. But now, one can hear the sounds of the conservatory or at least its instructors, somewhere else.

Last year, the conservatory joined with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church for a fundraiser. The event was called Angels in Autumn, and it worked, so this year, the event will return on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s, featuring a concert by the conservatory faculty. "It was just a really natural union," said Sharon Holt, the event’s chairperson and a church leader with St. Luke’s.

The event first came into being when one of St. Luke’s parishioners heard about the conservatory’s search for a fundraising venue, and there he saw an opportunity.

"They have the facility and we have the artists," said Debra Cook, the managing director of the conservatory. "And we knew we could put on a good show for them."

So the two groups joined forces. As they did last year, they will evenly split the proceeds from the event. "For St. Luke’s, the money will support our ministries within the church and outside the church," said Holt. Those will include missionary programs, educational efforts and youth programs, according to Holt. "For us, it’s going to support our scholarship programs," said Cook. In the past year, the group has donated more than $25,000 in free lessons to students in need, Cook explained, but most of that was through instructors donating their time, which puts a significant financial burden upon them. With a new scholarship fund, Cook noted, the conservatory can still provide free classes to some while paying its instructors. The evening’s events will start with hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction and lead into an hour-long block of performances from Cook and several of the other conservatory instructors. A live auction will wrap up the evening. "It’s pretty straight forward," said Holt. "This year we’ve included the live auction, which we didn’t have last year."

Cook said the musical program would feature a slightly more modern show than last year’s. "It’s really going to be a quite varied show," she said. Cook said she will perform opera pieces from Bellini and Puccini, but additionally, she will include the theme song from the film, "Band of Brothers."

Also performing will be piano instructor Dr. Bryan Stanley. "He has a beautiful piece called the ‘Wasatch Suite,’" said Cook.

Guitar instructor Geoff Lawrence will join with several other conservatory faculty members to perform a much more modern set, with two pieces entitled "Wasatch Front" and "All is Well," and another instructor, Matt Cowan, will round out the bill with a violin performance. While the show will include a broad range of music, Cook said it would center on an angelic theme, in keeping with the name of the event. "It’s going to be quite a different show from last year because we’re only using our distinguished faculty," said Cook. Holt said that anyone who appreciated good music would enjoy the show.

"If you are a music lover, this is for you," she said.

"What I really want to highlight is how excited I am about the quality of performers and instructors we have here," said Cook. "I just hope our awareness campaign and our fundraiser can help people see the resource we have here [at the conservatory]."

"It’s a great way to get out and meet people in the community," concluded Holt. "I would just ask the public to come and see what we’re all about."

Angels in Autumn will take place Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, located at 4595 Silver Springs Drive. The suggested donation for the event is $45 per person. For more information, call 649-4900 or 649-6292.


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