Sesquicentennial concert tribute to pioneers

A Pioneer Sesquicentennial concert with an artistic bent will feature the Utah Symphony Orchestra and music from prominent LDS composers on Friday, Aug. 15, at 8 p.m. in Abravenel Hall in Salt Lake City.

Titled "A Sesquicentennial Musical Tribute," it will consist of "music in the spirit of, or inspired by, the pioneers," said spokesman Robert Cundick, former Salt Lake Tabernacle organist. The lineup includes pianist Grant Johannesen, conductors Crawford Gates and Barlow Bradford and the Utah Chamber Artists.The program begins with Brother Cundick's "Overture for a Celebration," followed by LeRoy Robertson's tuneful "American Serenade," two solo piano works by Arthur Shepherd, "To Utah" by Brother Cundick (a choral-orchestral setting of Edward Hart's poignant poem of the same name), and "Pentameron" by Brother Gates (his dramatic Second Piano Concerto subtitled "Reflections on the Trek.")

In addition to the music, U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah will present a special message.

According to Elder Robert L. Backman, emeritus General Authority and vice-chairman of the Church's Sesquicentennial Committee, this concert of Mormon music adds a crucial dimension heretofore absent from the total perspective of this year of pioneer remembrance.

Brother Cundick said only Church News readers are being made aware of pre-public ticket sales beginning Tuesday, July 1, at the Utah Symphony Box Office (801-533-6683). The $12-per-ticket admission price includes a commemorative program and a compact disc of the concert being recorded in live performance that evening. Each ticket purchaser will fill out a self-addressed compact disc mailing envelope, which will be returned post paid with the disc enclosed three to four weeks after the concert.

Any remaining tickets will be offered for sale after July 10, when the concert will be announced to the general public, Brother Cundick said. Distribution of the compact disc will be limited to concert-goers; no additional copies will be sold.

"I would suspect this concert-program-CD package may well be the concert-goer's bargain of a lifetime," Brother Cundick commented.

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