Music faculty member Xun Sun receives Sandgren Award

Xun Sun was presented the Sandgren Award by Cedar City’s Master Singers during their concert at the Heritage Center Theater on April 2. The award is an honor bestowed on members of the community who make exemplary contributions to music, art and culture in Cedar City. 

Sun currently serves as the director of orchestral activities at Southern Utah University. He conducts the university’s Symphony Orchestra and provides private instruction to violin students. He has received several awards for his outstanding work in education, including the Educator of the Year Award from the American String Teachers Association Utah Chapter in 2016 and the Board of Trustees Award of Excellence from SUU in 2014.

In addition to his contributions as an educator, Sun has shared his skills as an orchestral conductor. He served as the conductor for the Orchestra of Southern Utah from 2003 to 2022. With Sun as their conductor, OSU world-premiered “Spanish Trail Suite” by Marshall McDonald and Steve Nelson, two renowned composers in the state of Utah. Sun has also conducted ensembles across the globe in places such as China and Ukraine.

Upon receiving the Sandgren Award, Sun expressed gratitude for his time in Cedar City and working at SUU. He and his wife, Ling Yu, raised their three children in Cedar City, where they each excelled under the direction of local musicians. Sun also expressed appreciation for the welcome he and his family have received since immigrating. 

Sun continues to make important contributions to the arts in Cedar City. He will be conducting SUU’s Symphony Orchestra and Choirs in their final concert of the semester on April 21. Information regarding the performance can be found on the SUU music department website

Story by: Gracie Butterfield
Photos courtesy of Fred Rowley and Patty Walser