Exciting New Music for April 11 Concert5 min read

By Sara Penny,

Cedar City: The Hal Campbell Young Composer Concert features an exciting mix of new music performed by the Orchestra of Southern Utah on Thursday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Heritage Theatre. Tickets are available at myosu.org. Carylee Zwang and David Jordan direct the orchestra. Concert sponsors are the Utah Division of Arts and Museums and the Barefoot Foundation. Local sponsors for the composer prizes are Cedar Music Store, Whittlesticks, and Brass Duo (brass and woodwind instrument repair). Marshall McDonald has composed a special piece for this concert called Luminous. He was commissioned to write Africa and the Spanish Trail Suite for past performances with Stephen Sharp Nelson. This newly commissioned work has his characteristic melodic style with ebbs and flows of emotion. He was recently honored at the Governor’s Arts Awards event.

Young composers entered the Hal Campbell Young Composers contest in the fall. After reviewing the pieces, the orchestra has chosen four new pieces to premiere. This contest is in honor of longtime music educator Dr. Campbell, who served in many capacities for the orchestra from conducting to composing and serving as music librarian. His standard of musical excellence greatly contributed to the quality of area music.

Alpenglow by Bryan L. Welton III is a melodic and exciting piece. Bryan L. Welton III is a conductor, composer, percussionist, and software engineer from Lake Oswego, Oregon. He attends BYU-Idaho and will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering, and double minoring in Music and Chinese Language. As a composer, he composes music that portrays strong emotions and feelings, drawing heavy inspiration from cinema scores. His goal with each composition is to leave both listeners and players feeling like they’ve been on an emotional journey or have learned something deeper about life. His motto with composition is “I’ll never write a piece that doesn’t have a point.” As a percussionist, he has played with high school groups, community theaters, and has toured nationally with his university’s Symphony Band and Symphony Orchestra.

Watts Mason’s Somehow Summer takes a musical journey from “Dawning on Sunset” to the “Eye of Aura”. He began his musical journey at five years old as a piano student. Self- taught and driven by an unwavering passion for composition, Mason’s artistic endeavors truly took flight around the age of 19. Since then, he has carved a distinctive niche for himself in the realm of music, seamlessly blending skillful craftsmanship with the emotive storytelling of his composition. He hopes to continue his journey of exploration of all instruments and style.

Evan Chamberlain’s composition As the Change from Night to Day evokes a transition from despair to hope directed by David Jordan, OSU Assistant Conductor. Evan Chamberlain has been playing piano since the age of 5 and French horn since the 8th grade. He recently completed a Bachelor’s of Music Education at Brigham Young University-Idaho, studying Horn and Composition. Evan’s passion for music stems from his parent’s musical background, and from film scores. He has participated in many types of music making, including orchestral, choral, and jazz ensembles, brass and wind quintets, piano accompaniment, and solo performance on both horn and piano. He took private lessons in composition and gave a distinguished recital of his music while in his senior year of university studies. He considers his composition style to be a mix of early modernist styles and French impressionism. Evan sees music primarily as a form of human expression and communication, and it is the collaborative effort of composer, performer, and listener to understand and make sense of the message that leads to truly wondrous musical experiences.

Landon Fowles has written The Gall of Ripley for the concert. He grew up in Eagle Mountain and was active performing trumpet in the Westlake High School Marching Band and as a founding member of the Cedar Valley High School’s Crimson Regiment. While in high school, Landon started arranging music for marching band/pep band and brass quintet. He was also selected to participate in the All State Wind Symphony as well as being awarded the John Phillips Sousa Band Award. Following high school, Landon earned the Presidential Music Scholarship to attend Southern Utah University, where he started composing music. He aspires to be a music educator, film composer, and professional trumpet player.

The Honorable Mention composition is Ex Nihilo (Out of Nothing) by Sarah Roundy. Sarah Roundy is a 19-year-old composer from Boise, Idaho. Sarah graduated from Centennial High School in 2023 and is pursuing further studies at Brigham Young University majoring in Commercial Music with an emphasis in Film and Media Composition. Creating music is her passion and she’s been doing so her entire life. She has studied piano for 14 years and also plays cello, bass, and percussion. Until recently, Sarah was studying composition with Dr. Alexander at Boise State University. Her compositions have been played at the Idaho Music Educators Association conference, Boise Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and Centennial High School Chamber Orchestra. Ex Nihilo is one of three movements in a collection of works that follow the journey of space pioneers searching for a new home because their former planet fell into ruin. The movement being performed depicts the takeoff of the pioneer’s rocket ship as they depart from their dead planet and venture into the infinite expanse of space.

This is a fitting end to our season as we celebrate these living composers. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students. Purchasing tickets in advance through myosu.org is recommended, but tickets are also available at the door. Children over six are welcome with adult supervision. No babies please as the concert is recorded. The Heritage Theatre is at 105 N. 100 East in Cedar City. Lobby music before the concert features the Southern Utah String Quartet and Kasey Hinton.



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