SUU’s Satellite Salon Series
Offers “Musica De Los Muertos”
November 2, 2013
Photo credit: Dr. Lynn Vartan. Courtesy of Lynn Vartan
Southern Utah University, Cedar City, Utah: Art, music and a celebration of Hispanic culture come together in a remarkable concert and creative family workshop at SUU. The university’s innovative Satellite Salon Series presents Musica de Los Muertos: A Latino Celebration of Day of the Dead. Developed by members of the Departments of Music, Art & Design and Education, the series features creator, Dr. Lynn Vartan, percussionist, and painter Ron Spears, assistant professor of art, who are joined by guest artists composer Carlos Rafael Rivera and dancer Monica Gomez Rogerson. These professionals will participate in a joint concert on Saturday, November 2nd at 7:30pm. On Saturday morning, Vartan, and Rogerson will participate in a family workshop, Arts Unwrapped, at 10:30am. The concert will take place at Thorley Recital Hall located on campus in SUU’s Music Building and Arts Unwrapped in SUU’s South Hall. All events are free and opened to the general public.
On Saturday morning November 2nd at 10:30am, the casual Arts Unwrapped features a program in which youngsters and their parents explore the joys of traditional Mexican Folkloric dance with Monica Gomez Rogerson and Linsey Gomez Rogerson with music by Dr. Lynn Vartan. Full skirts and sombreros will be provided for the youngsters. Children and parents are asked to wear sneakers or flexible shoes to move in. Noisy children are welcome to attend with their parents who can walk them around the family-friendly event which is geared to young children, families and the community.
The weekend’s highlight will beMusica de Los Muertos: A Latino Celebration of Day of the Dead, a concert showcasing various compositions by Carlos Rafael Rivera, performed on Saturday, November 2nd at 7:30pm. The concert’s first half will feature Dr. Lynn Vartan and members of the SUU Percussion Ensemble performing works that showcase Rivera’s music on various instruments. In the second act, there will be a special collaboration between music and art, Ron Spears will sketch Monica Gomez Rogerson as she moves to music performed by Vartan. Additional performers scheduled to appear are dancer Linsey Gomez Rogerson, Dr. Adam Lambert on trumpet, Dr. Thomas Herb on saxophone and Dr. Kevin L. Baker conducting members of SUU Choirs performing a contemporary lullaby composed by Rivera. The sounds of Latino musical styles blend with art to create a truly memorable evening – that is not to be missed
Of Cuban-Guatemalan descent, Carlos Rafael Rivera is an established composer who incorporates diverse musical influences into his captivating compositions, which reflect his multi-cultural upbringing in Washington, DC, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Miami, and Los Angeles. His music has been performed by such prominent ensembles and soloists as Arturo Sandoval, Colin Currie, Chanticleer, Cavatina Duo, the American Composers Orchestra (ACO), the New England Philharmonic, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet; commissioned by the Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, and the American Wind Symphony; recorded by Warner, Sony, Naxos, and Cedille labels; and awarded by the ACO, the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Guitar Foundation of America, BMI, and twice by ASCAP. A DMA graduate in Music Composition at USC's Thornton school, he studied with Donald Crockett and Stephen Hartke; with Orlando Garcia and Fredrick Kaufman at Florida International University; and mentored with Randy Newman. As a guitarist, he studied with the noted teacher Carlos Molina. Rivera has performed onstage as opening act for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl, while his guitar work includes performances on feature soundtracks (Crash, Dragonfly); studio sessions for Island/Def Jam, and Universal Records; as well as ABC's Scrubs, MTV, and VH-1. He was musical consultant for Invitation to World Literature, an educational series funded by the Annenberg Foundation and produced by WGBH, is a voting member of the Recording Academy (Grammy's), as well as the Miami Symphony Orchestra's Strategic Alliances program, whose membership includes conductors Gustavo Dudamel, and Alondra de la Parra. Dr. Rivera is Composer-In-Residence with the Miami Symphony Orchestra, as well as a faculty member at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music.
Monica Gomez Rogerson has been teaching Mexican Folkloric Dance for over ten years. She has studied and performed in the United States and Mexico and is currently Creative Director for the Gomez Mexican Folkloric Dancers of Salt Lake City. While her emphasis is Mexican Folkloric Dance, she also teaches other Latin American dances including salsa, merengue, cumbia and mambo. A residency can include dance instruction for all ages, teacher workshops, community education classes, lectures, demonstrations and performances.
Ron Spears’ diverse career as an illustrator and painter has taken him on a colorful journey. He has illustrated book covers, magazine articles, video games and much more. He illustrated the children’s book Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy? written by renowned comic actor Jason Alexander. As a Lead Illustrator for International Game Technology, and an Art Director for Sierra On-Line, Ron has created countless illustrations for dozens of video games. Additional projects include illustrations for Dungeons and Dragons, Upper Deck, Blizzard Entertainment and many others. He received his Bachelor of Art from the University of Puget Sound and was awarded his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Hartford. Ron is currently an assistant professor at Southern Utah University in the Department of Art and Design.
Dr. Lynn Vartan is percussionist for Southwest Chamber Music, two-time Grammy® nominee in the “Best Classical Album of the Year” and “Best Small Ensemble with or without a conductor” categories. Vartan has been featured on the Los Angeles Philharmonic Green Umbrella Series, the Different Trains Series and has soloed with the Music and the Court series in Pasadena, California, and the Sierra Wind Symphony. She is currently producing two solo albums which will be released next year. Vartan received her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California with special honors and recognition. She teaches percussion at Southern Utah University.
The Satellite Salon Series allows for personal interaction and communication between a resident or guest musician and or visual artist and music students from SUU and the region through master classes, question and answer sessions and workshops. The Series is also an educational program, designed to give southern Utah rural high school students the opportunity to learn from professional musicians and artists during the Master's Class. The "Arts Unwrapped" component provides a casual concert or visual art experience for young children in the community, where they can sit on stage and listen and watch the performer or participate in a hands-on music or art project.
Satellite Salon Series and Arts Unwrapped are made possible by funding from Arts Fusion, Arts Works for Kids!, and a grant from the Arts In Education Program with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums.
Celebrate the joyous sounds of Latin musical styles by attending Musica de Los Muertos: A Latino Celebration of Day of the Dead. For more information on the SUU College of Performing and Visual Arts events, please call the Arts Hotline at (435) 865-8800, or visit www.suu.edu/pva/arts.