Get the Most out of the Great American Road Trip

It’s just not summer without an unforgettable road trip – and this summer, we’re embarking on an adventure to southern Utah. Pack a bag and plan for our concerts in Springdale, Bluff, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Goblin Valley State Park, and Vernal Brewing Company.

To make your trip even more memorable, here are our recommendations:

First Things First

Forget about the concert hall because we’ll be performing in the great outdoors! Since we’re outside, you won’t want to forget about the necessities. Bring something to sit on (a camping chair or blanket), a sweater for when it gets cold, bug repellant, sunscreen, and an umbrella (just in case!)

Pack a Picnic

The best part of being in an outdoor venue is that you can bring snacks. You could always bring sandwiches and celery sticks, or you could always make your picnic special by trying a new recipe or picking something up from a favorite local spot like Swig in St. George.

Make Memories

You’ll want to remember this extraordinary experience! Don’t forget to pack your camera and (dare we say it?) a selfie stick so you can capture incredible memories at the concert. We love connecting with people at our concerts, so follow and tag us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and tag your photos with #utahsymphonyroadtrip.

Tune into a Playlist

What’s a road trip without the perfect playlist? Whether you’re traveling from Salt Lake to Springdale or from Blanding to Bluff, we have the ideal music to set the mood for your journey. Get a preview of our repertoire for the concert or listen to a list of music inspired by the majestic night sky of southern Utah.

Stay for a Star Party

The best part about being in southern Utah is being under the stars. Take your concert experience to a new level by staying after the concert for a star party. This collaboration between us, the University of Utah’s Consortium for Dark Sky Studies, and the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative will allow you to explore the night sky through lectures provided by park rangers and local astronomers, as well as have viewing opportunities on high-powered telescopes.

Register for a star party here.

You won’t want to miss these free concerts and star parties, so get your tickets here. Bon voyage!

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Mother Nature and Music: A Mighty 5® Fan Account from Andrew Wilson

Two of my absolute favorite pastimes are: 1) spending time enjoying the great outdoors and 2) experiencing live music. These are also two of the main reasons why I love living in Utah, am proud to be a Utahn, and that I thoroughly enjoy my job. When there were rumblings at work that we were putting together the Mighty 5® Tour, my interest was piqued and I kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to assist with the tour and hopefully go along! Flash forward and now I’m in Moab staring out my hotel window at the redrock that I began a lifelong fascination as a kid. The icing on the cake? I get to share this experience with my mum at my side, as she decided to join in and volunteer for the tour!

rock formation

Don’t sneeze! An awesome example of the great rock formations in Southern Utah!

Contine reading

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VIP at the Mighty 5®

Natalie Cope is the Special Events Manager for the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. It is her job to coordinate events and activities for our VIP guests. The Mighty 5® Tour has given our VIP patrons a wonderful opportunity to explore the natural beauty of these national parks. I spoke with her on Tuesday morning about the VIP events of the tour.

USUO: What are your duties for the tour?
Natalie: I have planned all VIP activities and excursions through the tour. That includes dinners receptions, the outdoor things we’re doing like hiking and horseback riding, and post-concert receptions.

USUO: What are some of the VIP events being held at Mighty 5® this year?
Natalie: Last night, we did a reception at the Historic Gifford Homestead at Capitol Reef. It’s an intimate setting and picturesque. It feels cozy because it isn’t as busy as the rest of the park. The people at the park went above and beyond with flowers and decorations. There were hummingbirds flying around the tables. It was beautiful. There were even deer just wandering around; they were not afraid of us at all. They like the fruit trees that grow there. The Superintendent of Capitol Reef came out and had some remarks. It was really great. All the VIPs walked over to the Chamber concert at Fruita Campground afterward.

Contine reading

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Volunteers!

There is absolutely no way that the Mighty 5® Tour could happen without having volunteers to help run and organize the show. The Utah Symphony and Utah Opera have always been deeply indebted to our volunteers and this experience is no different.

I had the chance to talk to Melissa Robison our Volunteer Coordinator, and Publication and Front of House Manager. She has been working hard on working with and training volunteers to make the Mighty 5® Tour spectacular.

Also, if you want to volunteer (and get into these sold out shows), you can still sign up! Just contact Melissa (her number is at the bottom).

USUO: How do you get enough volunteers to make everything work?
Melissa: When we decided we were going to do this tour, we knew it would be impossible to take our awesome volunteer network with us. Fortunately for us, our Education Department already reaches down to Southern Utah, so we decided to look at local volunteers. We created a flier and sent it out to the Chamber of Commerce and arts and local schools and reached out that way to gather volunteers. We did a lot on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, too. Contine reading

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Preview of the Mighty 5® Tour

Everyone here at the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera is gearing up for the Mighty 5® Tour that is happening this week from August 11th to the 16th. There is so much happening behind the scenes to make this tour successful. Besides the music, there are a lot of things going on for our entire team. Here is a glimpse of some of the things that we are doing and preparing for.

Our Operations team is working on making sure all the musicians are bussed from location to location with places to sleep and eat and play. They’re also in charge of making sure all the instruments follow, because what’s a musician without their instrument? They’re in charge of organizing behind the scenes including trash pick up and EMT services and hotel accomodations.

Melissa Robison is organizing all of the wonderful volunteers that will be working during the shows. If it wasn’t for the community volunteers at every show, we would not be able to perform. Our development team is holding special VIP and private performances with the musicians. The local company Spy Hop is sending a film crew and working with their students to document the entire process. And Chip Dance has the tough job of setting up and dismantling the stage and all the equipment for each performance. Keep a look out for our special time-lapse video from Spy Hop that will show the entire process! Contine reading

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Summertime with the Utah Symphony

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera's Deer Valley Music Festival

Deer Valley Music Festival Summer Home of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera

The Utah Symphony is one of the few symphonies in the United States that plays a full-time schedule. Debate is rampant over what that means exactly—most websites and search options and opinions put “full-time” in quotes. For us, it means that the Utah Symphony plays all year long with a 52-week schedule. (There are only 16 symphonies across the US that have 52-week schedules, but even that number is debated.)

I can hear some of your thoughts, though, that sound something like, “But, Traci, the Utah Symphony season ended with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances and guest cellist Matthew Zalkind playing Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme!”

And you would be right: The regular season ended with that. But the Utah Symphony has their annual Summer Community Concert Series all across the Wasatch front. This concert series is full of patriotic songs including “The Star Spangled Banner” and “America the Beautiful” and features guest artists like violinist Jenny Oaks Baker, local piano soloist Mary Anne Huntsman, local soprano Celena Shafer, and guest conductor Thomas Hong. In many of the shows, the Cannoneers of the Wasatch will be showcasing their unique abilities during Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Orchestra, which calls for actual cannon fire in the musical score.

The best part is that you will not have to drive up to Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City to see them—some of these concerts will sound like they are in your own backyard.

There are six Summer Community Concerts:

  • SCERA Shell in Orem, Utah – Wednesday, June 23 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Taylorsville Dayzz in Taylorsville, Utah – Thursday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah – Friday, June 27 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah – Wednesday, July 2 at 8:30 p.m.
  • Gallivan Plaza in Salt Lake City, Utah – Wednesday, Aug. 20 at 8:00 p.m.
  • Snowbasin in Huntsville, Utah – Thursday, Aug. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Two of these concerts are free: Taylorsville Dayzz, thanks to the resident’s support through Salt Lake County’s Zoo, Arts and Parks Program (ZAP); and Gallivan Plaza, which is being funded by the Utah Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City.

If you can’t get to these Summer Community Concerts, don’t worry. There are many concerts available through the month of July up at the Deer Valley® Music Festival. Each show spotlights a different musical genre and different artists. Guests at the festival include Kenny Rogers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Ben Folds. There are classical chamber music concerts on Wednesday nights at St. Mary’s Church, and special shows on Fridays and Saturdays highlighting music from the movies including songs from John Williams and an entire night of Disney favorites. You can get a complete list of shows and dates at www.deervalleymusicfestival.org

 

If you live down south or your family is on vacation in August, then you’ll still have an epic chance to see the Utah Symphony. From August 12 to August 16, the Utah Symphony will perform among the iconic red rocks during The Mighty 5® Tour of Utah’s National Parks. Stops include Bryce Canyon and Zion’s National Park. All of these concerts are free. You can get a complete schedule for the Might 5® Tour at www.utahsymphony.org/mighty5

And finally, held on Sept. 6 (at 11 a.m. or 8 p.m. at Abravanel Hall), the last summer concert is a spectacular showcase from Video Games Live, featuring the music from the beginning of gaming to the best of our current favorites, including Mario, Zelda, Halo and Final Fantasy. Visit videogameslive.com for more about this program.

It’s going to be a musical summer, and hopefully, you and your family can join us at one of these concerts.

The 2014/2015 regular season (aka: back at Abravanel Hall) starts on September 12 and 13. This performance continues the Utah Symphony’s Mahler Tradition , kicking off the two-season long tribute to Gustav Mahler with the explosive Symphony No. 1, “Titan.” ~ Traci Grant

For more information about these summer concerts, visit www.utahsymphony.org

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