Alison Larson and Amy Ward from the Morgan Valley Chamber Orchestra presented to the city council this week. “We have tried to fill a need that has been missing in this community for strings education and orchestra,” said Ward. The group began after Weber State discontinued their strings program in the county. There is currently no orchestra or string program at the high school or middle school.
“Music has so many benefits in your lives and our lives… as we play music we teach music, we perform music, it enriches everyone’s lives,” said Larson. The group was originally formed to have an orchestra, but felt that there was a significant need in the community to provide lessons to teach those interested, to play string instruments. They are now providing lessons as well. They have both youth and adults in their string classes.
The group plans to provide a free concert in the park next summer to engage the community in their work. They are planning to have Jenny Oaks Baker perform with the orchestra at this event. Baker has performed around the world, including in Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center. She has also soloed with the National Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The group plans to provide a program between 70 and 90 minutes. They will feature Broadway and Disney music as well as some religious pieces. They hope to be able to feature a solo of Jenny Oaks Baker accompanied by piano as well. The concert is scheduled for July 14 of next year.
The orchestra is currently 20 players. The group hopes to increase to 40 musicians by the time of the performance. The orchestra requested support from the city council to help purchase music for the event. The council approved a donation of $500 to the group to help cover these expenses.