SUU Music Experiential Learning at Its Finest

Published: December 16, 2021 | Author: Ashley H Palmer | Read Time: 3 minutes

SUU Symphony Orchestra Performing with Marie OsmondSouthern Utah University students had the exclusive opportunity of playing for Marie Osmond with David Osmond and Daniel Emmet at the opening performance of their holiday season tour. The SUU Symphony Orchestra received their music approximately two weeks prior to the concert. Students trained and practiced with Thanksgiving break in the middle of it all, and it took determination to prepare for a concert of this caliber. The experience has given them a glimpse into what being a professional musician entails.

Dr. Lawrence Johnson, Chair of the Department of Music at SUU, says, “The Marie Osmond Holiday Concert was a perfect example of SUU's mission to provide experiential learning for our students. To be part of a professional event involving an international star such as Marie Osmond informed our students of the short rehearsal time that is often the case with professional gigs, as well as the caliber of performance, skill, and concentration needed to play under the direction of a conductor/arranger after only one rehearsal with him. We are extremely proud of our SUU student musicians who really stepped up to the challenge and performed with flying colors...and notes!”

Zane Lowry, a student and SUU Symphony Orchestra member, shares, “Preparing for this concert was very exciting! The process was definitely a lot faster than usual. When we got the music, we had a meeting as a whole orchestra to make sure everyone had the parts they needed and that our music was in the right order. Because there was just so much music, it was extremely important that we all were on the same page. Then, rehearsals started! Because of Thanksgiving break, we only could fit in 3 rehearsals and a dress rehearsal before the concert!”

Lowry went on to say, “Performing with a different conductor was a wonderful experience. Dr. Martin was a pleasure to work with, and he really knew how to bring out the best in us as musicians in such little time. He knew the music very well and the musical cues Marie Osmond and the other singers would give. We only had one rehearsal with him and then a dress rehearsal with the singers the day of the concert.”

Memories of this experience will truly withstand the tests of time as these students graduate and move onto their careers. The College of Performing and Visual Arts is so proud of our students and the faculty who trained them to perform in such an outstanding concert.

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 over 900 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), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) making SUU the first public university in the state of Utah to be accredited by all four associations. For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, visit

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