Utah Symphony at Sundance

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As part of the Provo Freedom Festival the Utah Symphony performs at the Sundance amphitheater sometime around the fourth of July. This year was no exception. Mountain Dad and I enjoyed listening to John Phillips Sousa, John Williams, Bernstein and other patriotic composers while sitting on a picnic blanket on the grass above the seats. It was a perfect summer evening.

I wonder how the orchestra members feel about playing pieces like the Star Wars theme song. These musicians are accustomed to more elegant selections in their daily life. Do they roll their eyes each year at playing the proletariat pleasers like the medley of South Pacific? Or do they, like the rest of us, enjoy a bit of nostalgia at the prospect of playing and listening to those tunes? Since concert music is no longer the main source of entertainment in the western world it’s no surprise that most of the song selections were recognizable. Many were part of movie or musical scores, either originally or movies and tv have adopted them. For example, John Williams’ Olympic theme, which was wonderfully performed, is now used as ABC’s intro during their Olympic reporting. We are now visual creatures and for whatever reason classical music seems to need a visual outlet more than say a rock concert would. Maybe it’s because there are fewer songs to sing along to in the classical music set. Regardless it seems like music often involves multiple brain activities, listening and watching or listening and singing.

It was a wonderful night with good music and good company. Live music is truly best.

Out for a Drive

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It may be an old time past time to go out for a drive but it’s one of our family’s favorite lazy Sunday activities. This drive was a spontaneous turn off the Cascade Springs scenic byway onto Mill Canyon road. It’s a dirt biker’s dream with trails that crisscross the Wasatch range. A 4 wheel drive vehicle is a must there.

Mountain Dad and I packed a picnic which we all enjoyed while overlooking Utah valley on one side and Hebert valley on the other.

Provo river

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Big E, little g and I enjoy an afternoon by the Provo river after a busy memorial day. It’s so peaceful to listen to the rushing water.

Cascade Springs

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Yesterday our adventure was a hike around the natural springs nearby. Cascade Springs is located in the Uinta National Forest off the Alpine Loop road. The Alpine Loop is a beautiful drive on its own, connecting Provo and American Fork canyons and sporting grand vistas of the Wasatch mountain range. Off the loop road is a Scenic Byway that takes would be adventurers to Cascade Springs, another amazing drive with views that my young children didn’t appreciate. The springs has a series of interconnected paths and boardwalks that meander past natural springs. The path is paved but there are stairs in parts so strollers are not recommended.

On this adventure my sister brought her four boys along too. With our children ranging from age 10 to 9 months we raced, walked, jumped and climbed our way through the maple, box elder and oaks. Thanks to the signs along the trail we learned about yellow warblers, forest fire, and stinging nettle (yes it really stings). The hike isn’t too strenuous, there are water fountains along the way and it’s beautiful. All in all it was a great adventure.