Live music is returning to Utah State University later this month with a planned free outdoor concert on the Quad, open to the public.
The concert is billed on posters as “Rach Stars 2,” but onlookers should note there are no typos in the title — instead of electric guitars, the people on stage will be playing two grand pianos.
“Rach” is shorthand for noted classical music composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, whose complex piano pieces have challenged musicians for more than a century. The concert will feature both professors and students playing Rachmaninoff on a stage set up at the east entrance to Old Main.
The show will run from 5:30 to 7 on April 28. As a warmup, students will play a selection of recital pieces beginning at 5. Chairs will be set up, but audience members are also welcome to bring their own folding chairs or blankets.
“The exciting thing here is that’s it’s been a while on campus since the administration has allowed any kind of community engagement except for athletic events, so this is going to be at least the first time in the last year or so where it is open to the community,” said USU piano program professor Kevin Olson, who will be one of the performers.
The group played a similar show two weeks ago for the Community in Excellence series put on by Salt Lake’s City’s Galavan Center, and the online recording has received close to 70,000 views.
In addition to Olson, faculty members performing will be Cahill Smith, Mayumi Matzen, Elzbieta Bilicka and Emily Ezola. Students on the program include Kylee Fullmer, Anna Peterson, Rebecca Cummings, Emma Call-Musselman, Rob Ewing, Ela Bilicka.
Seating for the show will be socially distanced. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Daines Concert Hall on campus.