The Southwest Symphony performs at Town Square Park, St. George, Utah on October 30, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Southwest Symphony, St. George News
CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Continuing a stellar season of live classical music in southern Utah, the Southwest Symphony will next perform works by Brahms and Mozart with a special guest artist.
Their 2021-2022 show season resumes on March 4 with a concert that Lucas Darger, musical director and conductor of the symphony, promises as “an evening filled with spectacular symphonic music”.
The symphony will be joined by award-winning flautist Demarre McGill for a performance of Mozart’s “Flute Concerto in G Major”. McGill, a Chicago native, began studying the flute at age 7 and made his first appearance as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony at age 15.
McGill has performed all over the world and currently performs with the Seattle Symphony as principal flautist. He is a past recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Fellowship, an award given annually to outstanding instrumentalists, as well as the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which recognizes extraordinary black and Latino classical musicians.
“He’s incredibly accomplished,” Darger said. “We’re super, super happy to have him come.”
The evening will also feature Brahms’ ‘Symphony No. 1’. In his time, Brahms was considered by many to be Beethoven’s rightful successor, and expectations for his first symphony were high. The work, from sketches to finishes, took 21 years to complete and was finally created in 1876.
“We’re really excited to share it,” Darger said. “It’s an iconic piece.”
The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Cox Performing Arts Center. Tickets cost $18, $24 or $30 depending on the section and are available for purchase in line or by calling the Dixie State University box office at 435-652-7800. Customers who purchase tickets for two or more Southwest Symphony performances this season will receive a 15% discount, while those who attend four or more concerts can save 25%.
As part of the concert, the Southwest Symphony honors everyday heroes in Southern Utah through a program called “Harmony & Heroes”. As a thank you, they will select 50 people from a group of nominees to each receive two free tickets and be recognized during the show. Applications will be accepted in line until February 26. There are no specific criteria other than someone who has made a difference in the community.
Now in its 41st season of performances, the Southwest Symphony is an auditioned group of approximately 80 professional and skilled amateur musicians from the community. The symphony is supported by a combination of ticket sales, grants, corporate sponsorships and private donations. Although musicians receive a small stipend for their participation, it is essentially a voluntary organization.
The symphony has won Best of State for Community Orchestra three years in a row, a recognition that Darger says is a testament to the dedication and talent of their musicians and staff who work tirelessly to produce quality concerts.
Earlier this month, the symphony performed Prokofiev’s musical fairy tale “Peter and the Wolf” to a sold-out audience in the Cox Auditorium. They were also joined on stage by the Zion Youth Symphony to perform “Finlandia” by Sibelius. Darger said the young musicians put a lot of work into the piece and it paid off.
“It was an amazing experience and an opportunity for them to play with professional musicians, but it was also great for us,” he added. “It was very invigorating to be able to share the stage with them and feel their energy and dedication.”
The season continues with a performance of “Lamb of God,” a musical representation of the last days of the life of Jesus Christ, on April 1. The symphony will be joined by the Lieto Voices! talented choir and soloists.
Next, the symphony orchestra will invite violinist Caroline Campbell to join them on April 29 for a lively mix of Hollywood favorites and show tunes. Visit the South West Symphony Orchestra website to purchase tickets and find out how your support helps advance the performing arts in Southern Utah.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
• SPONSORED CONTENT •
- What: Southwest Symphony features award-winning flautist Demarre McGill.
- When: Friday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m.
- Where: Cox Performing Arts Center, 335 S. 700 East, St. George.
- Tickets: Zone 1 $18; area 2 $24; premium $30.
- Resources: Website.
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