SUU Music Students Connect Together Through Small Ensembles

Published: March 17, 2021 | Author: Emily Marie Cacho | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU Music Student with AccompanistSpring is finally here and so are the small ensembles, presented by the SUU Music Department. They are split into two concerts, the first being brass and woodwinds, and the second being piano and string ensembles. These concerts will play back to back at, on March 29, 2021 for Brass and Woodwind Ensembles, and on March 30, 2021 for Piano and String Ensembles. Both concerts will be held at 7:30 p.m.

For SUU Music students, small ensembles are a time to hone their skills for their specific instrument. They get to play music composed specifically for their instruments and talents. This is also good training for the musicians because they get to work on their technique and improve on their musical abilities.

Drew Holland, a saxophone player from Taylorsville, Utah, talks about his experience playing in his small ensemble, “I’ve had a ton of fun working in the saxophone ensemble. I love all my fellow members. It’s so refreshing to play music that is written for our instruments. I’m really excited to show off what the SUU saxophone ensemble is all about. One thing about our ensemble is we are always looking for saxophonists, even if you’re a major or not we would love to have more people join. Anyone is welcome!”

SUU Music students have shown incredible resilience throughout all the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to the performing artists. Lindsey O’Connor, director of the saxophone ensembles discusses her experience with the students and with the music, “This is my second semester directing the SUU Saxophone Ensemble and I continue to be impressed by my students’ dedication and drive, even during a pandemic! For our upcoming concert, we will be performing Mike Mower’s Reconciliation Suite, I. Incitement to Bebop. This piece is for two dueling saxophone quartets: one jazz, and one classical. I was particularly excited to share this piece with my students because many of them perform in both genres. This work is a great way to highlight their talents and show the audience that saxophonists can be well-versed in both idioms.”

Dr. Xun Sun, Director of Orchestra and String Studies, talks about his experience directing the string ensembles during COVID-19, “For groups of musicians like the String Ensemble, we are facing a big challenge during COVID-19, with masks and social distancing, playing instruments is not an easy thing to do. With this said, we are going through a historical experience with a successful result.”

Dr. Sun also talks about some of the music being performed at the concert, “The music numbers we chose for this ensemble concert are something very special to everyone. We will perform Shostakovich Symphony for Strings which expresses sadness and hope. This music is difficult in terms of the techniques as well the music style. The students have done absolutely great work! Even though the concert will be live-streamed without an in-person audience, it will be a fantastic concert."

These two concerts are not only a wonderful educational experience for the musicians involved, but they will be fun and entertaining for the attending audiences, filled with beautiful and toe-tapping tunes. To enjoy these concerts, please visit, on March 29 and 30, 2021, at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, please visit

About the College of Performing and Visual Arts

The College of Performing and Visual Arts (CPVA) at Southern Utah University comprises 26 academic programs including liberal arts (BA/BS) and professional (BFA, BM, BMEd) degrees in art, design, dance, music and theatre. It includes graduate programs in the fields of arts administration (MFA, MA), music education (MME), and music technology (MM). More than 60 full-time faculty and staff are engaged in teaching and mentoring nearly 800 majors in the College. CPVA presents over 100 performances, lectures, presentations, and exhibitions each year and is affiliated with the Southern Utah Museum of Art (SUMA), Utah Shakespeare Festival, and the Center for Shakespeare Studies. Southern Utah University is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD), National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD), and the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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