USU Alumni band

USU Alumni Band conductor Nick Morrison during one of the band’s popular outdoor concerts on the Utah State University campus in Logan. The band’s next concert is Sunday, July 26, 7 p.m. on the Quad. The concert highlights the university’s “Year of Water.”

The Utah State University Alumni Band will perform on the Quad this Sunday at 7 p.m. in celebration of Bastille Day, the national holiday of France in English-speaking countries.

The concert includes “Suite Française” by early 20th century French composer Darius Milhaud, “Hands Across the Sea” by John Phillip Sousa and selections from ABBA, a nod to “Mamma Mia!” The cast of “Mamma Mia!” from the USU Lyric Repertory Company will perform at intermission.

Dennis D. Griffin, conductor and professor emeritus, will join the band to conduct “Marche Hongroise” from “Damnation of Faust” by French romantic composer Hector Berlioz.

Griffin moved to Lehi in 2007 and has facilitated performances with the Orchestra at Temple Square and in other venues in and around Salt Lake City. During his time at USU, he taught percussion and directed the Percussion Ensembles for 36 years and the band for 10 years.

Special guest Reagan Ayres will solo with the band on violin on a piece from another romantic-era French composer, Jules Massenet. Ayres studied with Amy Natzke in Newberg, Oregon, and was a member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic for two years. After graduating high school, she made her way to Logan to attend USU and study with Rebecca McFaul, second violinist of the Fry Street Quartet. Ayres was a Caine Scholar for her whole time at the university and performed as the concertmaster of the USU Symphony Orchestra for two semesters. She graduated in May with a bachelor’s in violin performance.

The Alumni Band is comprised of more than 300 Caine College of the Arts (CCA) alumni who have continued to perform since graduation. Each concert consists of 45-60 musicians, all of whom donate their talents and only have a single rehearsal on the day of the performance to prepare.

The band is led by music director Nicholas Morrison, executive associate dean and professor of clarinet.

This season’s remaining Alumni Band concerts will be held on July 21 and August 4. The July 21 concert is on the USU Quad. The August 4 concert is in the Daines Concert Hall in the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public.

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