Governor Herbert, Congressman McAdams, Senator Escamilla Join Utah Symphony in Musical Tribute Video Dedicated to Essential Workers

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 6, 2020) – On Friday, Utah Symphony percussion and brass musicians released a musical tribute video performance of Aaron Copland’s stirring “Fanfare for the Common Man” dedicated to essential workers who have kept Utah communities safe, healthy and functioning during the COVID-19 crisis. They were joined with words of thanks from Utah state Governor Gary Herbert, Congressman Ben McAdams and Senator Luz Escamilla, all recorded from their homes. The video can be viewed here:

The Utah Symphony musicians themselves conceived of the creative project to thank essential workers including grocery store employees, hospital and medical staff, police, fire and ambulance services. Fifteen Utah Symphony brass and percussion musicians all recorded their individual musical contributions at their respective homes and were stitched together with the help of an audio engineer.

Both Congressman McAdams and Senator Escamilla were recently recovered COVID-19 patients. Healthcare practitioners including IHC, the general public, Smith’s Food and Drug, and first responders were called upon to send in photographs of essential workers.

In 1942, American composer Aaron Copland was commissioned by the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to write a fanfare rallying the U.S. entry to World War II. “Fanfare for the Common Man” premiered on March 12, 1943, in observance of income tax time — something every “common man” has to endure. Since then, it has been performed for presidents, played to honor victims at the opening of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and lent a sense of gravity to television sports and news programs. It’s even been heard in space: In 2008, NASA pilot Eric Boe chose it as wake-up music for his crew of astronauts on the space shuttle Endeavor.

In an effort to use the healing power of music to uplift and inspire at a time when public performances are not possible, a task force comprised of musicians and Utah Symphony | Utah Opera staff will continue to create musical moments to release to the community on a regular basis.

“The musicians have been able to work very closely with the marketing and artistic staff, and because of this, some really exciting and poignant project ideas have been realized. We felt that the Copland video thanking essential workers is particularly important as those folks are the ones who have been providing for our community when we need it most,” said Principal Trumpet Travis Peterson, who has been involved in the task force of musicians producing creative content, including a video of 35 musicians performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 filmed individually at home. “We hope to continue to create inspiring and uplifting online content that will help people in whatever way we can. We can’t wait to be back on stage and performing for everyone in person once again!”

Virtual musician performance videos are accessible on social media platforms and also on the Utah Symphony website under “Living Room Concerts