SUU Music Department Presents Their Final Concerts for the Semester

Southern Utah University’s music department will be blowing out the remainder of the semester with three collaborative webcast concerts. 

SUU’s orchestra and choirs will combine on April 14 at 7:30 p.m., string and piano quartets will join April 15 at 7:30 p.m. and percussion ensembles will host a multimedia, interdisciplinary webcast performance on April 17 at 7:30 p.m.

SUU choral director Krystal McCoy and orchestra director Xun Sun will combine their talents in their third collaborative performance on April 14. Sun will direct two pieces from 1844’s “Roman Carnival Overture” by French romantic composer Hector Berlioz, and McCoy will direct the 1798 piece:  “Nelson Mass in D” by Austrian classical composer Joseph Haydn.

 “Our students are learning how to pronounce Latin and articulate as if they are singing string instruments,” McCoy said.

The annual “Halversen String Festival” will stream April 15 and feature the newly founded Hal Campbell String Quartet, guest artist Southern Utah String Quartet, SUU String Ensemble and the Faculty Piano Quartet. 

The annual performance is dedicated to Roy Halversen, a musician and professor from Cedar City who instructed for over 40 years — from the 1930s-70s. 

SUU music professor Lawrence Johnson called the festival a “treat and a privilege,” and that this year’s performers are the “perfect team to keep [Halversen’s] legend alive.” 

The piano quartet consists of SUU professors Christian Bohnenstengel on piano, Sun on violin, Lindsay Szczesny on viola and Jessika Soli on cello.

“Fluidity Confined,” SUU Percussion Ensemble’s interdepartmental concert, will be a multimedia webcast featuring work by students from art & design and theatre, as well as a videographer from communication, SUU director of percussion Lynn Vartan said. 

SUU’s theater and music students have been using their webcast format to pursue more experimental performances since they started performing online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this performance, SUU photography students contributed six-foot strips of black and white film to make a stop-motion film that will accompany the musical performance.

“Working on the images for the Fluidity Confined video was both an educational and artistic experience,” SUU photography major Jessica Langston said. “The entire project, from the initial planning stages to seeing the final piece, allowed me to grow as a photographer.”

SUU music major Connor Cushman was excited to perform in a large collaborative project. 

“The quartet was able to be a part of a holistic art experience, incorporating imagery, sound, and videography,” Cushman said. “I feel that by tying all these lines together, the most enriching art can be produced. This crossover in arts has been one of my most memorable experiences at SUU.”

The music department’s website can provide access to the webcasts as well as a calendar of their upcoming performances. 

Story by: Janzen Jorgensen
Photo by: Connor Cushman