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.

Side view of Lindsey Stiling, with violin in hand and a feather in her hair. Leaning up against a brick wall.
behance.net

Violinist, dancer, and self-proclaimed film nerd Lindsey Stirling is the subject of a new, two-part television series called Song by Song. She says this documentary will allow her fans to see a different side of her through the eyes of everyone she works with behind the scenes.

“I really hope that people draw the message of perseverance because I think anyone who is pursuing their dream or is passionate about something, we all have to face the ups and downs of the industry or just life. It talks about that in the documentary and the highs and lows of what I’ve experienced. In order to make it I feel like it takes people who are willing to persevere through the failures and pick themselves up and keep going. Those are the people that are able to find success.”


Pianist David Korevaar will be performing a recital this Saturday at the Fibonacci Fine Arts Center in St. George. As a professor of piano at the University of Colorado, Boudler, he considers teaching to carry the same amount of weight as his creative work.

The centerpiece of pianist David Korevaar’s program will be Schubert’s sonata in A major. A grand and symphonic work, the piece was written in the final year of the composer’s life. To complement the piece, Korevaar will also be performing Mozart’s sonata K. 333 in B flat.


Three witches surround a man in a smoky room.
Utah Shakespeare Festival

The exhibit “We are Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On” features production photographs spanning 50 plus years at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. This Tony award-winning company has featured big names and big shows with Shakespeare as its cornerstone.

Jason Spelbring is a theatre professor at Utah State University and has worked as an actor at the festival for six seasons.

“People in this exhibit can see the progression of work, quality, names, people that people probably know from T.V, film, and the state of Utah. It’s just sort of a great way to remember and realize that there is world-class theatre right here in the state of Utah,” said Spelbring.


A woman with a cowboy hat, tan jacket, and bright red scarf leans against a hay bale.
texascowboypoetry.com

The Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous is presenting an evening at the barn on Tuesday at the American West Heritage Center. Doris Daley, one of the featured performers, is a Canadian cowgirl and poet. She says the energy and audience engagement at events such as these is invigorating.

“One of my goals is to bring my audience along on the ride with me. If there are 100 people in the audience, I hope that there are 100 different movies playing in their heads. I want to bring people along in my story, but I also hope that they are experiencing their own stories,” Daley said.


A beautiful white lidded, ceramic pot with a ceramic blue bird perched on top.
Utah Museum of Natural History

The Natural History Museum of Utah will host Native American artists from across the state this weekend. We spoke with organizers of the event to learn more about what makes these Native American creations so unique.

Twenty Native American artists of tribes from Apache to Zuni will participate at this year’s second annual Indian Art Market.  A wide range of mediums will be on display including jewelry, sculpture, beadwork, fetish carving, and pottery.


A painting displaying beautiful autumn colors in Logan.
Vlad Krylov

Cache Valley boasts many gems, from its beauties in nature to its hidden outdoor adventure destinations.  Also lesser-known is the fact that the Valley is home to a thriving community of talented artists. Representatives from the Cache Valley Center for the Arts spoke about the grand opening for their new gallery in downtown Logan. One of their goals: to feature and uncover these great artists.

The new art gallery in downtown Logan, located in the Bullen Center, will be opening after months of dedicated passion and work. Adam Shelton, the Marketing Director for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts, says the opening exhibition displays a fascinating variety of works.

“I’ve been walking through as they’ve been setting up and it’s really interesting to see the works of photography standing right next to jewelry, standing right next to ceramics, and all of those arts working together,” said Shelton. “I think it’s like having an all-year-round Summerfest, right indoors.”

A huge, richly colorful cloud blooming out from a manor, small in comparison
acousmata.com

Is it possible to see music? Or hear a painting? The art exhibition "Enchanted Modernities: Mysticism, Landscape and the American West" answers these questions and more by exploring the impact of Theosophy, an esoteric-philosophical movement, on visual artists, writers, and composers in the American West.

Alexander Scriabin, a Russian pianist and composer who was deeply influenced by Theosophy, visualized a grand magnum opus, or large and important work, which he entitled “Mysterium.” This week-long, multimedia performance would have taken place in the Himalayas incorporating music, incense, dance, and light. This great and final concert would ultimately bring about the end the world. Luckily for the fate of the rest of us, this work remained unfinished.

A traveling Ugandan children’s choir will perform in Logan Friday evening.

This concert will be filled with bright costumes, smiles, and songs delivering messages of hope and joy. As these children travel and perform far from home, they are not only helping kids back in Uganda, but are brightening the lives of those who they meet along the way.

This is the second year Robert and Barbara Guy have hosted the kids.

UMA

On Thursday, Utah will host their own version of the Grammys. The “Utah Music Awards” or “UMA’s” will be a glamorous evening of awards and performances, giving Utahns their chance to get the “Hollywood Treatment” in the Beehive State.

If you were asked what the bands Neon Trees, Imagine Dragons, The Used, Royal Bliss, Panic and the Disco and The Killers all have in common, what would you say? It’s a little known fact that all of these bands actually got their start in Utah.


The artist, Cache Valley local Michael Bingham, in his studio with the skeleton of his enormous, floating astronaut sculpture.
Ali Snow / Utah Public Radio

When the Salt Lake Arts Council called for submissions for their temporary public art project in January, Cache Valley artist Michael Bingham heeded the call. His proposal was one of 12 selected to make their street sculpture visions a reality. 

Standing in the midst of this metal shop there’s an overwhelming sense of power, energy, and even danger. Perhaps it is from the massive machinery that fills the room, each with their own capabilities to cut, mold, and bend steel with ease.

This is the studio in which Cache Valley artist Michael Bingham works every day. We chatted together next to a giant, nine-foot tall skeleton of an astronaut made out of steel rods and rebar. When thinking about what he could make that would align with the public art project’s theme “Flying Objects,” he said an astronaut is immediately what came to mind.

“Probably a combination of things. Childhood dreams of wanting to be an astronaut [laughs]. Maybe like every other little boy," Bingham said. 


In a darkened theatre, Karen Keltner conducts the orchestra. She is looking down at her musical score which is spread out on a stand.
U-T San Diego

Have you ever considered what an amazing act of faith it is, for a conductor, to signal an upbeat and come down and expect sound to happen? We now introduce a fearless Karen Keltner, resident conductor of the San Diego Opera, who has helped to make the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre a success now for eighteen seasons.

A native Hoosier from South Bend, Indiana, Karen Keltner says that she was bitten by the collaborative music-making bug early on in life. She began to take piano lessons at age six and the deal was, she had to practice an hour a day.

A man in a suit sits on a bench, with his back to the camera, looking on at a large painting on the wall.
Impulsive Eye Photography

What do the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, and the Utah Arts Festival all have in common? It may not be what you would initially think. The answer? The Utah Division of Arts and Museums helped to found each of these organizations. 

It’s no secret that the arts in all their forms are flourishing in Utah. In fact, Utah is home to the oldest arts council in the nation.

Laurie Baefsky is the Grants Manager of Utah Arts and Museums.

“If you look at how arts and museums are particularly valued by the citizens of Utah… we have some staggering statistics. For six years running we were voted ‘Top 25 Arts Destination’ by American Style magazine. We also have the highest per capita piano ownership in the nation, right here in Utah,” said Baefsky.


The bible is making a mighty comeback in the U.S. with the highest rated show in the history of the Game Show Network: “The American Bible Challenge.” This high energy program brings together a colorful range of teams from every religious denomination across the country to put their knowledge of The Good Book to the test.

Deborah Dushku Gardner is a member of the first ever Mormon team to compete on the show. They call themselves “The Mormon Moms.”


Two men singing a duet with a chorus of women in the background. Appears to be a scene from the play Les Miserables.
Utah Festival

Over 250 high school students will strut their best stuff  at the 4th Annual Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards at Utah State University. 

Months of preparation will culminate in a spectacular evening on Saturday, May 10 featuring young aspiring actors and actresses from across the state of Utah. The competition is partnering with several programs including the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre to provide winning artists with scholarship, mentorship, and apprenticeship opportunities. 


The cover of this DVD, showing a photograph of a woman and her baby, as well as three small photographs from three of the experts highlighted in this film.
The Power of Mothers

This year marks the 100 year anniversary for the celebration of Mother’s Day in the U.S. For the past three years, two local filmmakers have traveled the globe, compiling the perspectives of experts and mothers into a special Mother’s Day DVD. 

To go beyond the usual flowers and chocolates, local filmmakers Shelly Locke and Barry McLerran have set out to honor mothers in their new DVD entitled “The Power of Mothers.” Together they scoured the globe to gather wisdom and insights from world leaders and mothers themselves.


Woman in a red volunteer vest poses, smiling. Has a volunteer badge attached to shirt.
Logan Regional Hospital

Since October of last year, patients and visitors at Logan Regional Hospital have been enjoying the soothing ambiance music provided by volunteers. This new program, called "Musicians for Healing," has provided university students and members of the community the opportunity to donate their time and talents to create a peaceful hospital atmosphere.  Ramona Fonnesbeck, the Director of Volunteer Services, worked with the administration to bring this program to the hospital. In the process, she was able to secure a brand new, baby grand piano.


A photograph of a smiling Bob Chilcott, against a yellow background
John Bellars

Internationally acclaimed composer and conductor, Bob Chilcott, will be featured at the Cache Valley Choirfest on Saturday. Over 350 youth from 11 children’s choirs from all over Utah will present a world premiere of one of his pieces, commissioned specifically for this concert.

After three years of patient waiting, the time has finally come for youth from all over Utah to have the opportunity to work with composer, conductor, and former member of the “King’s Singers,” Bob Chilcott. He is especially well known for his compositions for children’s choirs. 


Poster with an Elk bust and the title "The Merry Wives of Windsor"
Caine College of the Arts

Once described as a "soap opera with excellent music," the opera department at Utah State University will present two performances this weekend of the delightful and hilarious 'The Merry Wives of Windsor" by Otto Niccolai. The new Director of Opera Studies, Dallas Heaton, has injected his own fresh, new perspective into the production. 

A native of Kaysville, Utah, Dallas Heaton assumed the position of Director of Opera Studies at Utah State University this January. He completed a Master’s in Collaborative Piano at Arizona State University, and an artist’s diploma in Opera Coaching at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Since then, Dallas has worked professionally as a collaborative artist for several years. 


Music played a major role in World War I both in uniting soldiers in a rhythm and a march, and also in uniting a nation behind a cause. Graduate music students at Utah State University will be presenting a program this Saturday which will combine both music and research from this era. This event will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the beginning of World War I.

Irving Berlin once declared “the history of America can be traced through its music.” Graduate students from the Music History Seminar course at USU will be tracing the events that occurred in World War I through music and lecture. Their goal is to present how music reflects the complex sentiments that come with fighting a war and, in turn, how music itself influenced individuals during that time.


A Native American dancer in full regalia competing in a pow wow dance competition.
Native American Student Council

Held in the spring to celebrate the renewal of life, pow-wows have traditionally served as vehicles for sharing and preserving Native American culture.  The Native American Student Council at Utah State University will be hosting their annual pow-wow this weekend. Jason Brough, the president of this council, is Shoshone and part of the north-western band.  

“If you go to the pow-wow, there’s a lot of spirituality that’s out there. It’s very much a religious ceremony, so you can still get those same feelings. You start hearing the drum going and that, I find, inspires people to learn more about the culture,” Brough says.

Pow wows are rife with symbolism, from the traditional regalia or special dress, to the symbolism of the circle which the audience and drum group form. Regardless of your background, there is something there for everyone.  

American Festival Chorus

Saturday evening over 300 singers will take to the stage of the Kent Concert Hall at Utah State University to perform in the American Festival Chorus’ “Night of Gospel Music.” Pastor Chantel Wright of New York City will be featured as a guest conductor.

Literally meaning “the good news,” the word “gospel” describes the very essence of this genre and tradition of choral music. Artistic Director of the American Festival Chorus and Dean of the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University, Dr. Craig Jessop says he has developed a love-affair for this music. Referring to guest conductor Chantel Wright he said:

"We brought her out two years ago in 2012 for an 'Evening of Gospel' because I knew Chantel could give us something Logan, Utah does not have. She came and the walls are still rocking from that concert and we had tremendous requests to ‘do it again, do it again."

pocket watch with heart design
Karol Renau

The Kimball Art Center located in Park City, Utah will present an unprecedented exhibit entitled “The Art of the Timepiece.” The collection owned by part-time Park City resident Karol Renau has never been shown publicly in this way.

Nearly 200 watches, clocks, and timepieces of every kind will be on display, showcasing the intimate and intricate art and science of watchmaking. Native-born Polish photographer and electrical engineer Karol Renau first began collecting, then fixing watches which introduced him to their fine inner workings.

“It is absolutely a hidden art because if you open some of these watches and look inside, it is absolutely stunning. There are such beautiful engravings and there are such artistic pictures inside. It’s absolutely amazing. For me it was almost like a discovery,” Renau said.

Jerry Brooks recites poetry during the National Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV.
Jeri L. Dobrowski

Morning on the desert, and the wind is blowin' free, 
And it's ours jest for the breathin', so let's fill up, you an' me.

At the National Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada, the arts in all of its forms take center stage. Western rural artists understand how music, poetry and storytelling seem to communicate more intimately than by any other means. Artists such as Utah-born Jerry Brooks use this to their advantage to share both the charms and the challenges of rural living.

No more stuffy cities where you have to pay to breathe— 
Where the helpless, human creatures, strive, move, throng and seethe.

John Allen, a rural sociologist and Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Utah State University, grew up on a cattle ranch in Baker, Oregon. His unique perspective combines academic research with real-life experience to create a different take on what it means today to be a rural American.


This week, hundreds of rural and urban folk alike are coming together at the 30th National Poetry Gathering in Elko, NV. Participants are being entertained with live music and poetry recitings as well as participating in in discussions regarding issues facing those living a rural lifestyle in a modern west.

The energy in the mountain air of the small community of Elko, Nev. is palpable this time of year. Rural westerners and urban-ites are again making the yearly pilgrimage to celebrate western culture. Through art and discussion, many have said that this special event borders on spiritual.

This year’s theme “Expressing the Rural West – Into the Future,” highlights the increased focus on technology in the rural west, and the opportunities and challenges that come with that.

“We want the event to be fun, first of all, and I think people come to the event to have a good time. A lot of the theme is reflected in entertaining things and things that show off the creativity of rural westerners,” said Meg Glaser, artistic director at the Western Folklife Center in Elko.

The week-long event is open to all, even those who don’t have a rural background.