Lights out on the Utah Symphony
April 22, 2014
The Utah Symphony not only plays classical music by the likes of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky but also seeks to educate its audience. On Tuesday, April 22, they hoped to do so for the students of the Park City School District, but a power outage at the Eccles Center caused them to cancel their performances.
The Park City Education Foundation (PCEF) paid for buses to transport elementary school students to the Eccles Center while the Park City Foundation paid for tickets of admission. Carey Cusimano, vice president of development for the Deer Valley Music Festival, said she was grateful the foundations were able to fund a visit from the symphony and regrets having to cancel.
"The orchestra had to be done at 12:15 due to contractual agreements, and there is no way a concert could have taken place in that amount of time," she said. The education component is a big part of what we do and a big component of our mission. We want to serve the students of Utah who are the future of our communities and introduce them to the art forms of symphonic music and opera."
Scott Tanner, orchestra teacher at Park City High School, said that any time his students can watch a live performance, it motivates and inspires them. It gives them a look into the professionalism required to be a member of the symphony.
"They learn not only from the performance of the instruments but from the behavior of the musicians," he said. "They pick up concert mannerisms, because it’s like I always tell them, ‘You begin performing when you walk on that stage.’"
There were two performances scheduled at the Eccles Center Tuesday morning: one for the elementary school students and another for students in grades 6-12. The younger students were going to be taught the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm and dynamics. Cusimano said she was hoping it would spark in them an interest in music and inspire them to pick up and learn how to play an instrument.
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The older students were going to learn what music has done for and how it came to be a part of the nation’s culture and why people react emotionally to music. Tanner said it isn’t every day students are able to hear the stories behind the classic pieces the symphony performs.
Beverly Hawkins, the Utah Symphony’s education manager, said it was unfortunate the visit couldn’t be rescheduled for this year and that students will have to wait another year at least to see the Utah Symphony at the Eccles Center.
"I am working with the schools scheduled in the rotation for next year to try and find a date for Park City," she said. "In all the years I have helped with the school concerts 10 years now there have been little hitches, but this is the first time we have had to cancel because of a power outage. It’s unfortunate, but we will try to reschedule for next year."