Ali Snow

Arts Reporter

After a year-long performing stint in Milan, Italy, Ali  graduated with a Bachelor's of Music in Piano Performance at Utah State University in May 2014.

Forever a closet poet and journal writer, she decided to take the plunge and explore different mediums, with public radio finding a special place in her heart. To her, there has been nothing more satisfying than combining her two loves: music and writing. She is currently working as a freelance Arts and Culture reporter with UPR, as well as continuing performing and teaching as a collaborative and chamber pianist.

This December she will be applying to graduate school to pursue a masters degree in journalism, in attempts to satisfy her insatiable appetite for learning.

A photo of the book Redemption Bay. Several sailboats sit on a small lake surrounded by mountains.

RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author, has now written her golden anniversary book number 50.

“Every book is a new challenge, every book seems harder than the one before, even though I’ve written so many books," Thayne said. "You do. You have to dig deeper, you have to try harder to stretch yourself and to continue to give your reader something new and exciting.”

Two men vy for the affections of one woman, dressed in a frilly pink Victorian Era dress.
Old Lyric Repertory Company

The Mystery of Edwin Drood, written by Charles Dickens, was originally a novel. Unfortunately, Dickens died before he could finish the book, leaving the ending to this story unknown.

Taking inspiration from the mystery, playwright Rupert Holmes crafted his own genre where audience members would have the opportunity to vote on how they would like to see the story end. They will choose who they think the murderer is, who they think the detective is and finally, they will choose a romantic couple to pair up.

A croquet team, dressed in grass skirts and leis, competes in a dry run of the croquet tournament
Alta Markeson

Alta Markeson is the development director at the Sunshine Terrace Foundation and right now, she’s leading several volunteer teams through a dry run of the croquet course.

Markeson is spearheading the Sunshine Swing Croquet Tournament and Lawn Party at the Old Crookston Homestead. She hopes this will become a signature event to represent the Foundation to the community and, in turn, raise funds to help care for the elderly residents and those undergoing rehabilitation.

“This is the first time we have done anything like this so we’re really excited and we’re crossing our fingers. We know it’s going to be a great success,” Markeson said.

A grand piano on the stage at Carnegie Hall, looking out into the audience.

I’m here speaking with Craig Jessop, the director of the American Festival Singers. They’ve been traveling and performing in Washington D.C. and today we’re speaking to them just hours before their performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Dr. Jessop, thank you for taking a few moments to speak with us today.

You’re welcome. I’m honored to be here.

The Grammy award-winning, multi platinum-selling, rock 'n' roll band, The Doobie Brothers, will be stopping in Utah on June 10 at the Sandy City Amphitheatre.

Tom Johnston  is the lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and one of the band’s original founders.

“One thing about this band is we are basically an American band in that we play music from a lot of genres from the very front until now," Johnston said. "That is: rock 'n' roll, of course, R&B, blues, bluegrass, a little country. You throw that all into the hopper and that’s The Doobie Brothers.”

A folklorist interviews two refugees around a table.

Many would be surprised to hear that Cache Valley is home to several refugee populations. In partnership with the Library of Congress, the project called “Voices: Refugees in Cache Valley” has been collecting the stories of this largely unknown population.

May Swenson, a woman with a short haircut and plaid shirt, looks directly at the camera.

With brochures in hand, both Paul Crumbley, professor of English at Utah State University, and I walk up the steps to the second floor of the Ray B. West building.

These brochures illustrate the newly created May Swenson Poetry Path. There are nine separate locations on the path, landmarks from the renowned poet’s life. We are headed to location number four, the Swenson room in the Ray B. West Building. Here we find all kinds of memorabilia; Swenson’s honorary doctorate degree from Utah State University, photos and books.

“Here is one of the medals she was given by Utah State. Here are some of the items she had on her desk,” Crumbley said.

A quilt draped across a bench outside, with potted plants

The first recorded use of the word “quilt” was in the year 1290. Since then, quilting has blossomed from its humble cottage industry beginnings into the billion dollar industry it is today. 

Throughout its long history, quilt-makers made their wares out of necessity to keep their families warm and cozy on bitter, cold winter nights. Today, quilt-making has expanded as an outlet for artistic expression, creativity, and even home décor. With over 21.3 million quilters nationwide, 14 percent of households in the U.S. contain at least one dedicated quilter. 

A quaint, little church in the middle of an expansive field.

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released a study in 2012 which explored the rise of the so called “nones.” These are those who, when they come across a question about their religious preferences on a survey, check the box labeled “none.” The results of the study are pretty staggering, indicating that one in five American adults fall into this category.

Surrounded by a red rock formation, guests listen to a pianist and violinist in concert.
Moab Music Festival

With the tagline “music in concert with the landscape,” the Moab Music Festival boasts a huge variety of musical genres, from classical, to jazz, to traditional native songs. However, with concerts taking place outside amid the red rock, the setting is anything but traditional.

Four women dressed in traditional Polynesian dresses, leis, and flowers in their hair.
April Davis - SUPIC

The Southern Utah Pacific Islander Coalition will celebrate its one-year anniversary this month. As a nonprofit organization, SUPIC was created in May 2014 in order to address needs that were not being met in the Pacific Islander community in southern Utah. Susi Lafaele is one of the cofounders of the coalition.

She said that education and healthcare are two of their biggest missions, but they also focus on youth development and cultural preservation.

Woman dancing in clouds.
Little Bloomsbury Art Festival

The ninth annual Little Bloomsbury Art Festival is being held in a historic home in Logan, offering an up-close-and-personal environment for performers and listeners alike.

Thomas Lundquist, pianist, guitarist and singer-songwriter for his band Migration Orders, said his music aligns perfectly with the festival’s theme of "promoting peace and hope in an uncertain world."

“To me, it means everything to be a part of it and present my music because that is what I am trying to do too; give a light and show a positive force and help others to feel that,” Lundquist said.

Woman looking stressed with piles of books, crumpled papers, and cups of coffee.
Doctor Tipster

A new study released by the mental health and wellness organization Lantern reveals that women in senior positions, such as CEO’s and board presidents, are 11 percent more stressed and 16 percent more anxious than their male counterparts.

Man is hip-deep in snow, attempting to traverse a mountain with his horse.
International Movie Trailer Festival

Southern Utah University will premiere the original film "Back Up The Mountain" on Thursday, April 23. This docu-drama depicts the heroic story of the university's founding.

In 1897 the University of Utah chose Cedar City as the location for a branch campus in southern Utah. The citizens were overjoyed because they understood the impact of having a college campus in the community. They began classes that fall and, in the meantime, met in a church until the school building could be completed. However, when the school’s principal returned from a meeting in Salt Lake City on January 1, 1889 where he had spoken with the attorney general and school administrators, he had some bad news.

A child with a walker dressed in a Batman costume on a blue background with stars.
Kelly Smith

Thomas Jones is 22 years old, a budding composer and an opera connoisseur. His parents, Sean and Joanne, said he has listened to opera on Saturdays since he was old enough to turn the dial on the radio.

“You can sing him three or four measures of an aria and he can probably tell you what the aria is and which opera it was from and who wrote the opera. He knows his opera,” Joanne Jones said.

Photo of a family of four, reading scriptures together. The film won several awards, some of which are noted on the photo.
John Dehlin

In 2002 Caitlin Ryan founded the Family Acceptance Project, an organization which, in part, studies the impact of family acceptance or rejection on the health and well-being of LGBT youth. As part of Utah State University’s Research Week, Ryan has been invited to present her own research, which includes a short, yet powerful film entitled “Families Are Forever.” The film follows the journey of the Montgomerys, a Mormon family, as they struggled then learned to support their gay 13-year-old son Jordan.

The cover of the book: a picture of a cameo necklace on a black background with the title "Token Woman." Subtitle "knowledge gifts understanding which gifts unconditional love."
Bonnie Glee

Bonnie Glee’s latest novel “Token Woman” takes place in the 1980s amid the escalating AIDS epidemic. The story is about a suppressed and unhappy housewife who develops an unlikely friendship with three gay men.  Dealing with such themes as open-mindedness and unconditional love, Glee said the subject is timely and reflective of current events.

A photograph showing someone with a coffee, notebook, and assorted pastries.

In an attempt to infuse a little poetry into everyday life, the Utah Arts and Museums Literary Arts organization is re-launching their Bite-Size Poetry project. Each month the organization will release a short YouTube video featuring a distinguished Utah poet reciting about 60 seconds of original work.

Star Coulbrooke was February’s featured bite-size poet, reading “Sky’s the Limit.”

Audio Pending...

Dollar bills laid out with three paint brushes on top.

The National Endowment for the Arts has been funded at the same rate for the past four years at $146 million. This may seem like quite a large sum, until you realize that the agency took a 40 percent cut from $176 million in 1992. It has never fully recovered.

Melia Tourangeau, the president and CEO of the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera, was selected to offer testimony to the House Interior Appropriations Committee to stress the importance of increased federal funding.

“We asked for an additional allocation of about $9 million from where the funding is currently, knowing that you have to reach for the stars in order to try and maintain where we are right now,” Tourangeau said.

The Romantic painting "The Wanderer." A man from on top of a mountain looks on a misty sea.

On Friday evening the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra will celebrate its seventh season with an all-French concert program. They will present a night of choral masterpieces by French composers Gabriel Fauré and Francis Poulenc at the Ellen Eccles Theatre.

Craig Jessop, the founder and conductor of the American Festival Chorus, said this music is distinctively French in its sensitivity. The first piece on the program is Fauré’s “Requiem,” which Jessop described using such contrasting adjectives as haunting, serene and elevating.

A photograph of the organs pipes

The organ at the First Presbyterian Church is the third largest in Cache Valley, just behind the organ at Utah State University and the Logan Tabernacle. It is also in dire need of restoration and repair.

Brandon Clayton has been the resident organist for the past three years at the First Presbyterian Church and is also a Temple Square guest organist.

“Some things that need to be done are voicing, the organ needs to be voiced for the room that it is in,” Clayton said.

He said that in the organ’s current state, performers are severely limited in what they can play.

The elderly couple in their living room, which is teeming with artwork.

Megumi Sasaki, the director of the documentary “Herb and Dorothy 50x50,” first learned about the Vogels while on assignment at the National Gallery in Washington D.C.

“I think that there were about seventy works exhibited there and they were all part of the Herbert and Dorothy Vogel collection,” Sasaki said. “I learned about Herb and Dorothy right there for the first time and I was totally shocked – in a good way.  I just could not believe that was a true story.”

The story is about a couple of humble means who had an insatiable appetite for collecting art. They lived in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. Herbert Vogel worked as a postal worker and Dorothy Vogel worked as a librarian. They decided to live off of Dorothy’s salary and use all of Herbert’s salary to purchase artwork.

At a high school, four people stand in front of a table, surrounded by posters.
Kari Schott

As the students from the Jordan High School Young Democrats set up their table in the middle of the common area, there was an air of nervous anticipation. This was their first big event as a club and it had already garnered enough attention to attract TV cameras to the scene.

They were holding what's being called a “gender equality bake sale” with the goal to highlight the issue of wage inequality between men and women. The cookies, artfully arranged on the table, were sold at 77 cents apiece for girls, and $1 for boys.

Their president and founder, Kari Schott, said the price of the cookies reflects the current relative earning power of the genders due to pay inequality.

“We mostly got good comments from it, but some people were a little outraged by it. They thought that we were being sexist, which we were, but that’s the point - to maybe start a conversation and make change," Schott said.

Man sitting at an organ, looking at the camera, with one of his arms raised, poised to play.

The Campbell Organ Festival will present a concert Wednesday evening featuring English organist Stephen Cleobury, the music director at King’s College. You may recognize his playing from UPR’s annual Christmas Eve broadcast of the “Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” live from Cambridge, England.

He is in Logan this week and will be performing as well as conducting two Utah State University choirs at Wednesday’s concert. He’ll be playing on the recently renovated Holtkamp organ located in the Kent Concert Hall.