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EUGENE JELESNIK IS ONE OF A KIND

The show will go on, but for legendary Utah musician, conductor and television personality Eugene Jelesnik, it will now consist of some long-deserved personal entertainment instead of public appearances.

Jelesnik has decided to end a nearly 50-year tradition of conducting the Salt Lake Philharmonic Orchestra in free pops concerts five times a year. For the thousands who have flocked to the musical treats, his decision will leave a real void.It's understandable he wants to relax a bit after a half-century of conducting, but he'll be missed. Jelesnik is one of a kind.

Not departing the Utah music scene completely, Jelesnik will continue to hold the position of first vice president of the Days of '47 celebration and says he will also continue his television appearances.

But it seems like the end of an era. Since 1938, when Jelesnik visited the Hotel Utah for an eight-week engagement with his New York-based "society" orchestra, his talent and energy have been a staple of the entertainment scene for Utahns.

As host of the long-running "Talent Showcase" TV shows, Jelesnik earned a place in many hearts. His genuine interest in amateur performers was evident, and his warm, easygoing humor and enthusiasm made the show a success.

Jelesnik hasn't said what will happen to the Salt Lake Philharmonic Orchestra, but if it continues to perform, it won't seem the same. The music will undoubtedly be top-notch, but without Jelesnik something definitely will be lacking. There are some people who just can't be replaced.