Melissa Thorley-Lewis Violin Recital

Photo Courtesy of Dan Gold and

On Wednesday, Jan. 24 the Southern Utah University Department of Music hosted guest violinist Melissa Thorley-Lewis as she performed select pieces during her recital. Lewis is a member of the Utah Symphony Orchestra and a featured violinist with the Orchestra of Southern Utah. She was accompanied by Mary Anne Anderson, a prominent pianist.

Most of the attendees were Lewis’ family and friends, but some local private music instructors came to watch and learn from her expertise as well. Marin Colby, a private violin teacher in the community said, “She [Lewis] is inspiring, I thought there was a great variety in the pieces she played.” Her setlist had lots of variety, from Sibelius’s “Concerto” to John William’s theme from “Schindler’s List” to a composition of her own.

The accompanist and the violinist kept in very good rhythm and each song was beautifully played. In some pieces, the piano music stood out against the violin. The only piece that was not accompanied by piano was “Elegy,” the piece Lewis composed herself.

“It’s kinda crazy and sometimes I like to do crazy things,” Lewis said about more of her faster paced songs, like “Zigeunerweisen” (Gypsy Airs) by Pablo de Sarasate, an audience favorite. Lewis described this song to the audience before playing it. She told them to imagine a big fire and a gypsy standing in front of it, telling a story. As she played the piece, I could envision the gypsy dancing from her violin. This piece had more bounce and pizzicato than any other song she played.

Another audience favorite was the theme from “Schindler’s List” by John Williams, one of the most famous and well-known violin pieces due to the incredibly depressing and deep feelings that the piece emanates.

The next guest artist performance will be Angela Heck-Mueller playing the flute on Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall.

Story By
Jessica Hanneman