The Ellen Eccles Theatre in Logan, UT has been under a bond for over 20 years. There have been various parties, including Cache County, who have worked to pay off this bond. These parties saw the value of the theater and the potential it had for bringing in artistic groups to enrich our community.
The Herald Journal has published a story relating this news here: http://bit.ly/XljX4b
The theater has faced various issues and successes repaying this bond throughout these 20 years, such as this: http://bit.ly/Yo4yPm and this: http://bit.ly/XRPg3c. For more past news on the theater, please visit http://www.centerforthearts.us/news.html.
I began performing in the theater during my years at Utah State University as a member of the USU Chamber Singers and the USU University Chorale. I have had even further opportunities to perform there with the American Festival Chorus and the American Festival Singers. I cannot remember, but I would not be surprised if I attended various events at this theater while growing up in Northern Utah. I would imagine that I attended at least one musical. Since moving to Cache Valley in 2004, I have attended plenty of events at this theater ranging from stand up comedy by Brian Regan to operas and musicals. While my budget does not always allow me to attend everything I wish I could at the theater, I am very appreciative that we have this icon in our community. I can only hope that I progress enough in my profession to garner a large enough salary to allow for more of these entertainment opportunities. This news of the theater being paid off is great for Logan City funding and for all Cache Valley residents. I, personally, am very appreciate as well for the RAPZ tax that has helped to pay off this theater. Yes, it is a tax, but I feel it has helped preserve the uniqueness of this community.
I am eager to perform with the American Festival Chorus and American Festival Singers in future appearances at the theater. And I can only hope that the Men’s Acappella Chorus of Cache Valley progresses throughout the years to be able to warrant a performance in this theater as well.
Robert Baldwin, Music Director for the Salt Lake Symphony, Music Director for the Utah Philharmonia, and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Utah shares more of his thoughts on the importance of rhythm, meter, and tempo in music. He shares that music is not a perfect mathematical equation and neither is time in a musical piece. There is always ebb and flow. There is always adaptation, especially in live performances.
I’ll be climbing out of the pit after the last run of Susannah tonight. It’s been a great experience, and full of potential for the pondering mind. Inevitability. Events that lead to something else. The Grand Finale. That incessant beat of the clock, metronome, and human heart; counting down to a predestined end. Is this where we find meaningful rhythm and flow? Or is it rather a stream into which we we enter, subdivide, and play? Always present. Welcoming us to participate.
The problem with the first example, is that it is too clinical, too easy. In my experience it’s also completely wrong. The thought that music, creativity, or life itself can be relegated to mere numbers is a popular misconception. Yes, music is math. Life is math. Yes, proportions, ratios and relationships certainly exist. But as human beings, our lives simply don’t operate this way. Science is starting to…
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Robert Baldwin, Music Director for the Salt Lake Symphony, Music Director for the Utah Philharmonia, and Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Utah shares his thoughts on the importance of rhythm, meter, and tempo – an aspect of music often neglected when focusing on notes, pitches, timbre, sound quality, etc.
Dr. Craig Jessop, director of the American Festival Chorus, stresses this as well. Dr. Jessop uses “count singing” – a method he inherited from studying with Robert Shaw and the Robert Shaw Singers. This is where the notes are sung by singing “One, Two, Tee, Four”. This ensures the musicians keep an “inner pulse” going on inside their head when the time comes to put actual words to the music. It also helps musicians know exactly when notes are moving, beginning and ending of phrases, and note durations. Dr. Jessop swears by this practice.
I’ve emerged from the pit thinking about rhythm and tempo. I’m there all week with the orchestra putting together Carlisle Floyd’s opera, Susannah. There’s a lot that can go wrong on stage, and even more with this show as it includes live gunshots! All in all, it was a good first rehearsal. The only lingering issues are finding a consensus with rhythm and tempo.
Certainly, these are two things that are very important to my craft as a conductor. Tempo control, metric organization and rhythmic precision are all something that is a great responsibility for all of us–the conductor, singer, and orchestra. But behind all my admonishments to “watch the stick,” “play the subdivision correctly,” and “don’t rush (or drag),” there is a deeper truth to the importance of flow and rhythm in the music.
“Time is like a superglue, keeping our story in order as we navigate the world…
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The American Festival Singers of American Festival Chorus will be performing the St. John’s Passion in the St. John’s Episcopal Church on April 6th.
Update April 12, 2012: The Herald Journal has posted an article describing the performance on April 6. Here is the article: http://bit.ly/IMtBV6
“To me, this is about three things, really — first of all, it’s about building community and goodwill,” said former Mormon Tabernacle Choir Director Craig Jessop. “Second, the music of J.S. Bach — whom I feel is, without a doubt, the touchstone of the western music tradition, of western civilization,” Jessop continued. “This represents one of the supreme achievements of the human mind, and it’s motivated totally by both faith and devotion.”
Update March 29, 2012: The St John’s Episcopal Church in Logan, UT provides a wonderful cathedral sound. Here is an example of singing in a cathedral from Westminster Chorus: