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Sandy Journal

‘Beethoven: The Titan’ Presented by American West Symphony and Chorus

Jun 10, 2016 10:45AM ● By Kelly Cannon

Soloists Stania Shaw and Doris Brunatti perform with the American West Symphony. —Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

In a night of both musical and vocal performance, the American West Symphony and Chorus of Sandy presented “Beethoven: Titan” on May 7 at the theater at Mount Jordan Middle School. The nonprofit music group’s performance was divided into three separate parts, with the final number being a combination of the symphony, the chorus and four soloists performing Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9.”

The American West Symphony and Chorus of Sandy was established in 1988 with the goal of bringing music to residents of the area. However, the chorus section of the nonprofit was disbanded a few years ago and has only recently begun to actively recruit new members.

For the “Beethoven: The Titan” piece, there were not enough members in the American West Chorus to properly perform it. The chorus then recruited the help of the Park City Singers, who joined the chorus on stage to perform the final number.

“Since we didn’t have enough singers, this was the best solution,” Charlotte Jordan, the chairman of the board for the American West Symphony and Chorus, said.

The first performance of the evening was “Piano Concerto No. 2” by Camille Saint-Saëns. The piece featured the symphony and headlined Edward Neeman as the piano soloist. Neeman is an Austrailian-American pianist who has won numerous international piano competitions and is currently a member of the piano faculty at Utah Valley University.

The second piece was three sections of the “Firebird Suite,” a ballet by Igor Stravinsky. The piece was performed by the symphony alone. In the program, Jordan explained the piece was commissioned when Stravinsky was only 21 years old. Since its 1910 premiere, the piece has become one of the most popular Russian ballets.

The final piece was Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” and included the entire symphony, singers from both the American West Symphony and Chorus and the Park City Singers and four soloists. The soloists were soprano Stania Shaw, mezzo-soprano Doris Brunatti, tenor David Sauer and bass Tyler Oliphant.

Jordan said the purpose of the American West Symphony and Chorus is to introduce and preserve music.

“The goal is to really preserve classical music, especially with young children,” Jordan said.

During the dress rehearsal the day before the performance, the nonprofit invited students from Mount Jordan Middle School to watch the performance for free. Jordan said many parents thanked her and other board members for the opportunity to introduce classical music to their young students.

“Middle school is really the right age to show kids,” Jordan said. “The symphony is committed to bringing music to young kids.”

Jordan also expressed appreciation to be able to have the symphony perform at the middle school in their large theater.

“We used to perform in such small venues. Now we have bigger and bigger performances,” Jordan said. “We have such a high-quality work for such a small group, especially compared to bigger groups.”

The next performance for the American West Symphony and Chorus of Sandy will be the Pops Concert, a collection of patriotic and Broadway show-tune numbers. The concert will be at 8 p.m. on June 29 at the Sandy Amphitheater. The concert is free and open to the public.