Summer Music Festivals
Mormon Utah has a long tradition of music making and music appreciating, dating back from the raising of Salt Lake City’s tabernacle and its attendant choir in the 1860s until today, when outdoor music concerts and festivals form a backdrop to summer in all parts of Utah.
Salt Lake City
The amount of live music available in Salt Lake City in the summer is prodigious. In addition to ongoing music performances at the tabernacle, there are the LDS-sponsored Concert Series at Temple Square, concerts of classical and religious music, some of which take place outdoors.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Madeleine presents the Madeleine Arts and Humanities Program (801/328-8941, www.saltlakecathedral.org), which offers classical music in a stunning 1909 place of worship.
For more modern music in an outdoor setting, head to Gallivan Center (www.slcclassic.com/publicservices/gallivan)in the heart of downtown, where in addition to free summer weekday noontime and (mostly) Wednesday and Thursday night concerts, there’s also an evening of opera arias on the first Saturday night after Labor Day.
During the summer, the Utah Symphony and other classical music performers grace the stage at Deer Valley Resort’s outdoor amphitheater.
In summer, Logan is Utah’s music festival center. This lovely small city in a verdant mountain valley plays host to the Utah Festival Opera (800/830-6088, www.ufoc.org), with fully staged professional operas performed in an intimate performing arts center that was once a movie palace and vaudeville hall (the season runs mid-July–mid-August).
Another historic theater in Logan has been updated to serve as home base for the Old Lyric Repertory Theatre (888/878-2931, www1.usu.edu/lyric), which produces musicals and other theatrical productions in June, July, and August.
In addition, there are regular musical events in local parks and at the Logan Tabernacle (see www.tourcachevalley.com for a calendar of summer events).
At the outdoor O. C. Tanner Amphitheater (www.dixie.edu/tanner), you’ll find a summertime series of concerts ranging from bluegrass, jazz, and folk to classical music.
The Tuacahn Amphitheater was once devoted to uplifting Mormon-themed musicals, but more recently this dramatically located outdoor theater amid 1,500-foot cliffs near St. George features a July–December season of Broadway musicals and other musical events.
The Moab Music Festival offers concerts of classical chamber music, traditional music, vocal music, works of living composers, and jazz performed by acclaimed artists late August–mid-September. Performances take place in indoor and outdoor venues ranging from historic Star Hall in Moab to the banks of the Colorado River.
Outside the summer season, Moab offers the Moab Folk Festival in November.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition