Deseret News – ‘I can have rehearsal in the morning and go ski in the afternoon’: Utah Symphony’s Conner Covington on life in Utah


SALT LAKE CITY — Sitting in a dimly lit coffee shop on West Temple, Conner Covington began to cry.

He was reflecting on his past year and a half with the Utah Symphony, and when his favorite memory came to mind, the 31-year-old conductor couldn’t help himself. The moment was so vivid. Just two weeks ago, he stood on the Abravanel Hall stage conducting the horse-galloping finale to “William Tell Overture” and a scene from the opera “Die Fledermaus,” among other works.

The pieces were standard, but this was no ordinary concert.

Called “Access to Music,” the performance, held each year in January, was for children with special needs and their families.

“For so many musicians, this is a highlight of the year. It’s loud, it’s raucous and nobody cares! It’s so great. I’m conducting and getting so much energy from behind me; (the kids) are so appreciative,” Covington said with visible emotion. “This is a performance where they can come in and be loud and not feel judged. … That’s really special.”

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