Salt Lake Symphony is committed to keeping Utah music alive by working with local soloists and composers.
Floridian Henry Wolking—composer, trombonist, conductor, teacher, and author—spent his college years at the University of Florida in the horn line for a soul band, touring the “juke joints” of the black backwaters of northern Florida. He completed a Master of Music degree, studying composition with Martin Mailman, at the University of North Texas in 1971. At the age of 24, he began his teaching career as head of the jazz area at the University of Utah. He won second prize in the International Trombone Composition Contest in 1973, the beginning of his successful, consistently productive career as a serious composer. Since then his works have been performed and recorded by many orchestras, including London, Utah, New Mexico, Baltimore, Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Nashville, Fairbanks, North Carolina, and Cincinnati Symphonies; the Louisville Orchestra and the BBC Jazz Orchestra; and the Boise and Warsaw Philharmonic.
Ralph Matson was appointed Utah Symphony Concertmaster in 1985. He began his violin studies in Detroit with Emily Mutter Austin. Mr. Matson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale College and a master's degree from the Yale School of Music. His principal teachers were Joseph Silverstein and Steven Staryk. He was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, and prior to his Utah Symphony appointment, was Assistant Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Cellist John Eckstein joined the Utah Symphony in June, 1990. Previously Associate Principal Cello of the New Orleans Symphony and Principal Cello of the Omaha Symphony, he enjoys a varied musical life of orchestral, chamber, and solo playing, in addition to his teaching duties at the University of Utah.
"Masterfully evocative....to call their performance inspired is an
understatement." - Lucid Culture
For a talented group of Iranian poets and composers enjoying fame, the Iranian revolution of 1979 extinguished hopes, dreams and careers. Since a serendipitous introduction in 2003, Monika Jalili has worked tirelessly to revive the touching works of these Iranian artists, some of whom are no longer with us, and most of whom have lived the past 30 years unable to express themselves as they once could. It is their songs that Monika sings with passion, appreciation, and love.
Raised from infancy with classical training, driven by rock and roll, enlightened by jazz, and infused with the ethnic diversity of his upbringing in the San Francisco bay area, Mike Fjerstad enjoys being a man of many hats.
Shane Shanahan performs regularly with Yo-Yo Ma as an original member of the Grammy-nominated Silk Road Ensemble. Shane’s arrangements and compositions are featured on several of the group’s recordings for Sony Classical. He has also performed and/or recorded with Bobby McFerrin, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Alison Krauss, Deep Purple, and Chaka Khan, among others. Shane has played in the Broadway productions of Caroline, Or Change, The Color Purple, Shrek, and Spider-Man, as well as Sam Medes’ 2010 Bridge Project.
Plan-B Theatre Company develops and produces unique and socially conscious theatre with a particular emphasis on new plays by Utah playwrights. PETER AND THE WOLF toured to 30 elementary schools in Salt Lake and Davis Counties last school year, launching our elementary school program.
Jay Perry (Actor) had appeared in Plan-B Theatre Company's productions of TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY, THE ALIENATION EFFEKT, three SLAMs, all eight RADIO HOURs, FACING EAST in Salt Lake, San Francisco and Off-Broadway at New York's Atlantic Theatre Stage 2, GUTENBERG! THE MUSICAL! in Salt Lake and at the Egyptian in Park City, SHE WAS MY BROTHER, LADY MACBETH, the Script-In-Hand Series readings of THE NORMAL HEART, A DOLL HOUSE and 8. Jay toured Davis and Salt Lake County elementary schools with Prokofiev's PETER AND THE WOLF, a Plan-B partnership with the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation and performed earlier this season in Stravinsky's A SOLDIER'S TALE, a Plan-B partnership with NOVA Chamber Music Series. Other regional credits include Salt Lake Acting Company, Salt Lake Shakespeare, Pioneer Theatre Company and Hippodrome State Theatre in Florida. Jay is Program Assistant for U of U Youth Theatre and is a member of Actors' Equity Association.
Christy Summerhays (Director) began her directing career in opera at the Intimate Opera Company where she directed many productions including LA BOHEME, RIGOLETTO and Leonard Bernstein's TROUBLE IN TAHITI. Christy received her training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and although she has worked primarily as an actor, she has been returning to directing more and more. Her latest project was Stravinsky's A SOLDIER'S TALE with Plan-B Theatre Company and NOVA Chamber Music Series. This year she also worked with Michael McLean on his new musical THREADS and with Plan-B, directing for SLAM and the reading of Eric Samuelsen's MIASMA at THE ROSE EXPOSED. Christy first directed PETER AND THE WOLF for Plan-B and the Gina Bauchauer International Piano Foundation (which began at THE ROSE EXPOSED and then toured to 30 elementary schools) and is happy to be remounting the production with the Salt Lake Symphony!
Christina Castellanos, MM, is Principal Flutist of The Salt Lake Symphony, Second Flutist of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, a position she has held since 2001 as a senior in college, and Principal Flutist of The Nevada POPS, Southern Nevada Musical Arts Society, and Nevada Chamber Symphony. She also frequently plays flute and piccolo in The Utah Symphony, The Orchestra at Temple Square for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and on the Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular show (2006-2012). She had the privilege of playing principal flute under the direction of Itzhak Perlman and has played for many artists such as Harry Connick Jr., Cirque du Soleil, Michel Legrand (PBS Broadcast), Luis Fonsi (2009 Latin Grammys), Jerry Lewis, Andy Williams, Dionne Warwick, Vanessa Williams, Peter Shickele, Andrea Bocelli (west coast tour), Il Divo, Placido Domingo, and the bands ABBA and KANSAS.
Dr. Michael Huff was called “a triple threat” by none other than his former boss at Utah State University, Dr. Craig Jessop, owing to his versatility as a conductor, pianist, teacher, arranger, and show producer, and his uncommon comfort with nearly all genres of music – choir, band, orchestra, classical, jazz, and all forms of popular music. His career has followed an unusual arc that can be measured in decades – as Music Director at Lagoon and at theatres throughout Utah during the ‘80’s; in the ‘90’s as an event producer-sales-marketing-director producing college bowl game halftime shows and major festival events all over America; as a freelance conductor-player-producer-arranger and part-time professor at the University of Utah with stops at Westminster College and Weber State University in the ‘00’s; as a full-time professor at Utah State University from 2010 until 2013; and now helping to lead the Music Education-serving non-profit, Legacy Music Alliance (www.legacymusicalliance.org).
About Utah Voices Utah Voices was created by a handful of dedicated, hard-working people who truly love to sing. It is the culmination of the dreams and united vision of individuals who are passionate about making music. We desire to provide a unique and fulfilling musical opportunity to those who sing with us as well as those for whom we perform. We will strive to ensure that Utah Voices has a lasting position in our community and in the wonderful world of choral singing. In the beautiful words of the talented composer Gerald Finzi, "...as surely as birds must sing, so long as words exist and man is capable of feeling, there will be song."
Anton Armstrong, Tosdal Professor of Music at St. Olaf College, became the fourth conductor of the St. Olaf Choir in 1990 after ten years in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he had served on the faculty of Calvin College and led the Calvin College Alumni Choir, the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, and the St. Cecilia Youth Chorale.