SALT LAKE CITY — The Gifted Music School of Salt Lake City prepares hardworking, talented students to be professional musicians and future leaders, according to co-founder Eugene Watanabe.
“They’re not just gifted musically, they are generally good students as well,” Watanabe said of the school’s students, who often go on to schools such as Juilliard and the Curtis Institute of Music.
The students, who are expected to perform at a near-professional level, will perform their year-end concert on May 19 under the direction of acclaimed conductor and composer Bill McGlaughlin, Watanabe said. McGlaughlin joined the students at a similar concert about two years ago and will return to narrate and conduct.
“Many people know (McGlaughlin) from his incredibly popular classical radio program, ‘Exploring Music,’ which is on KBYU every night at 9,” Watanabe said. "He’s heard throughout the country. He’s an encyclopedia of musical knowledge.”
The concert will mainly be performed by the GMS conservatory, but it will also include performances from the school’s preparatory students, Mountain View Elementary, and Watanabe and his wife.
The conservatory students will perform Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” among other pieces.
“It is a very challenging piece for the students … and they’ve been working extremely hard to make this program happen,” Watanabe said. “We’ll also be featuring a newer work by Max Richter; it’s one of the movements from his reimagined ‘Seasons,’ which is a modernized version of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons.’ It’s a fantastically fun work.”
Following the concert, a gala will include refreshments with the founders and McGlaughlin, as well as solo performances from the students, according to the GMS website.
“It’s an incredible showcase of some of the hardest-working kids in the state,” Watanabe said. “It’s an inspirational evening. These are the performers of tomorrow.”
If you go ...
What: Gifted Music School Spring Gala and Year-end Concert with Bill McGlaughlin
When: Thursday, May 19, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Where: Libby Gardner Concert Hall, 1375 Presidents Circle, Salt Lake City
How much: General admission for the concert is $15. Group rates and preferred seating options are available. Tickets to the gala reception following the concert are $50 per person or $90 per couple and include admission to the concert.