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Utah Symphony’s 61st Salute to Youth arrives after a long, COVID-19 break

Utah Symphony’s 61st anniversary of Salute to Youth will happen Tuesday night. Read more about what you need to know

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Salute to Youth musicians pose for photos at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Salute to Youth musicians Stella Wadsworth, back left, Emma Phippen, Sarah Kendall, Sabrina Allen, Jillian Smith, Ezekiel Sokoloff, Alina Baron, front left, Eliza Hart pose for photos at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Utah Symphony will host the 61st anniversary of Salute to Youth on Tuesday, bringing together Utah’s talented youth after a year away because of the pandemic.

“Each year, Utah’s talented youth participate in an extensive audition process for the chance to play a movement of a concerto on the Abravanel Hall stage with the Utah Symphony and join the ranks of the 380 Salute to Youth soloists who have come before them,” according to the Utah Symphony website.

The Salute to Youth concert, sponsored by the Deseret News and Utah Symphony, is an annual event that showcases the talent and dedication of young performers. Throughout the years, there are countless stories of young people putting off youth sports and group hangouts to practice their craft, all for the hope of performing before a large audience at Abravanel Hall.

“It’s always good to have big performance opportunities like this,” 18-year-old Mathew Lee told the Deseret News following his performance in 2019. “I’ve never soloed with a professional orchestra before, and it was a great experience.”

You could argue that the 2021 event is two years in the making. After all, the Utah Symphony canceled all of its events in March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. It wasn't until September 2020 that the Utah Symphony opened again, bringing in shows and scheduling performances. The Salute to Youth concert often happens in September so it was not brought back for the 2020 schedule.

For the 60th Salute to Youth concert in 2019, nine musicians — who were selected from a total of 95 applicants — came together from all different stages of life to perform. But they all had the same goal: to showcase the power of music and perform with the Utah Symphony.

“Music has a really good impact on people’s minds and their ability to think,” said 18-year-old Gabrial Coombs in an interview with the Deseret News in 2019. “I love music, so I will always play throughout the rest of my life.”

The 2021 concert will be a little different than in previous years. For one, you’ll need a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination to enter Abravanel Hall.

Here’s a rundown of what you can expect tonight from the show.

Who are the Salute to Youth artists for 2021?

Artists and programs are subject to change. But the Utah Symphony website has listed the following nine musicians as tonight’s guest artists:

  • Conner Gray Covington conductor
  • Eliza Hart, violin.
  • Sarah Kendell, violin.
  • Emma Phippen, harp.
  • Sabrina Allen, piano.
  • Jill Smith, piano.
  • Stella Wadsworth, cello.
  • Alina Baron, violin.
  • Ezekiel Sokoloff, violin.
  • Ellen Hayashi, violin.

Do you need a COVID-19 test to attend?

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required for performance entry on Tuesday night, according to the Utah Symphony website.

How to buy tickets to Salute to Youth

  • Time: 7 p.m.
  • Date: Nov. 2, 2021.
  • Location: Abravanel Hall.
  • How to buy tickets: Tickets can be purchased online through the Utah Symphony website.