“UVU Symphony Orchestra” Spring Showcase

Photo provided by UVU Symphony Orchestra

Under the guidance of the Department of Music’s department chair, Thomas Keck, the UVU Symphony Orchestra showed a wide range of musical performances and showcased the talents of five uniquely gifted UVU students. Keck was accompanied by guest conductors Taras Krysa and Don Miller. 

Krysa, born in Ukraine, has gained prestige all over the world for his many significant contributions to various orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and New World Symphony. Currently, he is director of orchestras at the University of Nevada and artistic and music director of the Henderson Symphony Orchestra where under his leadership its audience has grown ten-fold. 

Miller is a Utah-based conductor, where he is music director and conductor of the orchestra Esperanza Park City. He has an extensive background in training musicians of every age and caliber from public schools and universities to the Starlight Symphony Orchestra of Wimberley, Texas.

The first half of the orchestra featured solo performances from four of UVU’s brightest students. First, was a rendition of “Concerto for Flute and Orchestra” by Carl Nielsen, with Kendra Hamblin on flute. Then, “Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33” by Camille Saint-Saëns with Kaitlin Booth on cello. Next, “Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss” by Franz Lehar and “Amour ranime mon courage” by Charles Gounod with Cristina Villalobos as soprano. And lastly, “Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 25” by Felix Mendelssohn with Jiayi Lin on piano. Each of these students stood out in the expert manner with which they presented the unique capabilities of their instruments. 

For the second half of the orchestra, it first began with the contribution of an original work by UVU student Joe Osterstock entitled, “Cattitsh Dance.” Then it finished with “Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a” by Johannes Brahms. It is often associated with being one of his most popular works. In this piece, Brahms pays homage to the classical period. He was often championed as upholding traditional forms of music for which he received some criticism but mostly praise. 

In this symphony orchestra, UVU greatly benefitted from the tutelage of two great conductors, Taras Krysa and Don Miller, whose influence will continue to propel UVU’s music program to greater heights. As displayed by the soloists and Osterstock’s original work, UVU is home to some of the nation’s greatest emerging musicians who will go on to influence the world with their gifts.

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