A tale of two symphonies

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UVU and BYU students to showcase combined talents

Last year in celebration of UVU becoming a university, Eric Hansen, associate professor at BYU, came up with the idea of bringing together both the BYU and UVU symphonic orchestras and creating a beautiful blend of music and students. The collaborative efforts were a great success. This prodded the directors, Hansen and Donna Fairbanks, to give it another try.

“It should be better this year, because we’ve learned things from doing it last year; it’s going to be fabulous,” said Fairbanks, director of UVU string studies.

As its name describes, the “Symphonic Potpourri” will include symphonic classics, though none in their entirety, as well as popular show tune-type music. Hansen and Fairbanks will be working to convey different feelings and moods with a wider variety of music types than last year. Hansen explains that there will be a “retro feel to the concert.”

Putting on a production such as this can be difficult.  “Logistically it’s been tricky, because neither school has a practice room to house both orchestras, so we really have to wait till just before the concert to rehearse as a group.  We can’t do it any other way,” Fairbanks explained.

However, after all the difficulties are ironed out and all is said and done, the idea of collaboration and working together as neighboring universities is all about “fostering fun and playing together as universities,” said Hansen. He loves the opportunity to share talents and produce amazing work together.

A great part of last year’s production, which will also be included this year, is the featuring of different musical instructors. Last year, Fairbanks soloed. She commented, “I was highlighted last year and this year it seemed appropriate to highlight Hansen,” who plays the string bass. For anyone familiar with the string bass, they know that there are few pieces that feature a solo for this instrument, so this will be especially exciting to hear. Hansen described his solo as, “a step in the confidence darkness.” He will be playing “Eccles Sonata” for string bass and orchestra.

Also to be featured this year is Matthew Nelson, who is a brand-new UVU faculty member, “and a fabulous clarinetist,” as Fairbanks describes him. Nelson will be playing Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto.” “It deserves recognition. It’s going to be great,” adds Fairbanks.

The students who participate in this event say they have really enjoyed getting to know the students from just a few miles away.

“They sit next to their counterparts from the other schools and enjoyed getting to know the other students,” says Fairbanks. “We have these two universities so close, it makes all the sense in the world to do a collaborative effort. It’s a new venture and hopefully it’ll become a tradition. So far it’s been a lot of fun; we’ve enjoyed it.”

This evening highlighting a mixture of music, students and faculty talent will be held on Oct. 28 at the Covey Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 or $5 for students and seniors. This is a wonderful opportunity to see what is possible when two groups of talented musicians come together to celebrate the beauty of music.