14 Aug 2014

Mother Nature and Music: A Mighty 5® Fan Account from Andrew Wilson

Two of my absolute favorite pastimes are: 1) spending time enjoying the great outdoors and 2) experiencing live music. These are also two of the main reasons why I love living in Utah, am proud to be a Utahn, and that I thoroughly enjoy my job. When there were rumblings at work that we were putting together the Mighty 5® Tour, my interest was piqued and I kept my fingers crossed that I would be able to assist with the tour and hopefully go along! Flash forward and now I’m in Moab staring out my hotel window at the redrock that I began a lifelong fascination as a kid. The icing on the cake? I get to share this experience with my mum at my side, as she decided to join in and volunteer for the tour!

rock formation

Don’t sneeze! An awesome example of the great rock formations in Southern Utah!

It is a few days into the tour and so far we have visited Capitol Reef National Park, Arches National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. Our first concert, for Capitol Reef National Park, was held in Teasdale on Tuesday night. The weather decided to play with our emotions a little bit, only adding to the drama of the desert. Last night we made the short trek out to Dead Horse Point from Moab to see a brass quintet perform. The experience of listening to live music,  staring off into the vast, awe inspiring backdrop of the Colorado River and Canyonlands and getting gently rained on was ingrained into my memory. And I forgot to mention: there was also a fireworks show off in the distance as well (lightning)! Mother Nature sure knows how to pull out all the tricks.
dead horse point

The view from Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point

Andrew Wilson with Paula Fowler, USUO Education Department Director, at Dead Horse Point State Park

Although the concerts and outdoor settings have been mesmerizingly beautiful, one of my favorite things so far on the tour is getting to see firsthand the strength and vibrancy of the communities we are visiting. Everyone seems to be brimming with excitement, with both the locals and visitors to the parks welcoming us with wide eyes and huge smiles.
Tonight is our concert at Red Cliffs Lodge, which is celebrating both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. I haven’t been to Moab for quite a few years, and it is great to be back! Growing up in Sandy, Utah, my dad would regularly take my mum, sister, and me (or sometimes just me) on camping trips to Southern Utah and we all quickly earned a lifelong fascination with the epicly powerful, yet fragile environments that are scattered throughout our state. Some of my favorite childhood memories of the desert include getting to visit Moab for Thanksgiving on a few occasions. We would take day trips into and around Arches and Canyonlands, exploring hidden coves, canyons, and washes. My mum and I have been sharing our memories of our trips coming to Moab over the years, and I am especially excited for this concert setting for this reason. The contrast of the Utah Symphony playing against the Colorado River and massive sandstone canyon walls is sure to be breathtaking.
I cannot wait to see what the rest of the tour has in hold for us. We have many miles of ground to still cover and lots of stunning landscapes to keep our eyes entertained. Even if you’re not able to join us for the Mighty 5 Tour, I hope you make it a goal to both visit Southern Utah and its Mighty 5® National Parks and attend a symphony concert or opera performance within the next year.
Andrew picking fruit.

Andrew picking fruit.

You can share your Mighty 5® Tour experience with us and have it up on our Mighty 5® Tour Journal Page. For submission guidelines, go here and scroll down to the Fan Experience section. We hope to hear from you soon!