OSU Orchestra of Southern Utah Rhythm of the Drum
Image: Vladimir Morozov / CC BY 2.0

On Thursday, Oct. 8, the Orchestra of Southern Utah will kick of its “Rhythm of Life” 2015-16 concert series with “Rhythm of the Drum.” This first concert, featuring a variety of performers of all ages, will celebrate percussion and the drive it brings to music. “Rhythm of the Drum” will take place at the Heritage Theater in Cedar City at 7:30 p.m.

OSU Orchestra of Southern Utah Rhythm of the Drum
Tang Bing, photo courtesy of OSU

Opening the concert is Southern Utah University’s drumline, directed by Dr. Lynn Vartan. Canyon View High School’s marching band, led by David Jordan, will march to the music of Queen. Vartan and Shane Summers will perform a duet for snare drum and piano.

Richard Strauss’s “French Horn Concerto No. 1” features guest soloist Tang Bing with Xun Sun conducting. Tang Bing is a horn player with the China Philharmonic and horn professor at Renming University.

Under the direction of guest conductor Xiao Ming, John Philip Sousa’s “The Thunderer” will be played by both Canyon View High School students and OSU musicians. “The Thunderer,” written in 1889, is a popular march that showcases Sousa’s American style. Sousa is best known for composing and conducting military and patriotic marches. Maestro Xiao Ming is the music director and conductor of Hunan Symphony Orchestra of China.

OSU Orchestra of Southern Utah Rhythm of the Drum
Xiao Ming, photo courtesy of OSU

Played by both OSU and the Canyon View High School Advanced Orchestra under the direction of David Jordan, “Sunrise” and “Celebration” from Marshall McDonald and Steven Sharp Nelson’s “The Spanish Trail Suite” will be performed. “The Spanish Trail Suite” explores the different cultures found along the historic route. “Sunrise,” featuring Brent Tom as the guest vocalist, honors the Paiute Tribe. “Celebration” incorporates an original hymn and fiddle music to represent the pioneers.

Drawing from the iconic “Star Wars” soundtracks, the “Star Wars Medley” ties some of the films’ most famous pieces together. This rendition of John Williams’s classic score was arranged by Robert Smith.

Tickets are available at the Heritage Theater box office. Call (435) 865-2882 or visit the Heritage Theater website to purchase. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and $30 for groups up to six. Because evening concerts are recorded, it is requested that babies and children under the age of six not attend.

For more information, Emily Hepworth at emilyosucedarcity@gmail.com, call (435) 233-8213, or visit myosu.org.