A Night at the Deer Valley Music Festival: George Gershwin’s Greatest Hits and the Utah Symphony

Have you ever observed an actor studying his character? Imagine how an actor would need to immerse himself completely into a role to master a character.

I once observed Sean Penn doing just that.

With a weekly commute from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles, I used to spend a lot of time in airports observing people. One day I saw a man who resembled Sean Penn at LAX. He looked like an average guy from Jersey – blue jeans, a basic t-shirt with an untucked plaid shirt and a dark brown belt with an average looking buckle. Nothing strange there.

But something was off. Actually, three things about this guy were off. His hair was perfectly out of place. It looked too perfect. It’s hard to explain but my gut told me he paid $300 for that hair style.  

He was carrying a paper grocery bag instead of a backpack or a courier bag. The paper bag was crisply folded which struck me as really odd.

His shoes looked really expensive, too. They were simple leather shoes but they screamed “quality.”  The hair, grocery bag and shoes didn’t seem to fit the rest of him, and I was perplexed. I found myself staring.

He turned his head toward me and glared back as if to say, “Stop staring at me and I mean it!”

My read of the situation was “Sean Penn must be working on a character and didn’t want to call attention to himself.”  

What does this have to do with the Utah Symphony playing George Gershwin on a summer evening at the Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater?

The conductor told us that George Gershwin did the same kind of “immersion into a character” but more like an “immersion into a culture,” when he was writing a symphony. He specifically wrote music for his time — the time he lived, and he lived at a really interesting time.

Listen to Rhapsody in Blue and you’ll hear the Jazz Age of the 1920s.

Listen to Porgy and Bess and you’ll hear hints of old folk songs from South Carolina.

Listen to an American In Paris and you’ll hear not just beautiful tunes from a talented composer, but you’ll feel like you are walking the post-World War I streets of Paris.

At the concert, I enjoyed my wonderful Deer Valley Gourmet Picnic Basket, stuffed with an artisan cheese plate, salmon, shaved fennel, Kalamata olives, basil chiffonade, beet and goat cheese salad, “to die for” housemade garlic rosemary focaccia bread and a variety of delicious desserts, too numerous to name.

I wondered if Gershwin were to immerse himself in Park City, Utah, in 2017, what would he compose about a beautiful summer evening at Deer Valley Resort?

When we listen to music of our day, we can consider the greater context of the time we are living in. It’s an age of possibility, isn’t it? In the future, when we listen to the music composed today, what will the music tell us about the time we are living in? Ponder that one.

For more on the Deer Valley Music Festival and other Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater shows, click here.

To order your picnic basket ahead of time, click here.

To learn more about George Gershwin, click here.

Nancy L. Anderson, CFP is a financial planner in Park City, Utah. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, her blog NancyLAnderson.com, and for tips on Transitioning to Retirement on Forbes.com.

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August 2017 Events at Deer Valley Resort

Deer Valley Resort is nestled in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, just 36 miles east of Salt Lake City, in the historic mining town of Park City. Deer Valley Resort is filled with nonstop activity such as lift-served mountain biking, hiking and scenic chairlift rides, Summer Adventure Camp for children and music-filled evenings at our Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater.

The resort offers award-winning cuisine served on the outdoor decks of Royal Street Café and Deer Valley Grocery~Café, or enjoy Deer Valley-inspired brick oven cuisine at our newest restaurant, The Brass Tag. Enjoy one of our custom Gourmet Picnic Baskets or Bags during one of our many evening concerts and don’t miss the Silver Lake Snack Shack for a quick bite on the hill.

Deer Valley proudly brings the same commitment to customer service for our summer activities, as we do during our winter season, featuring an all-inclusive operation with mountain bike rentals, instruction and guided biking and hiking tours.

August 2

SCOTT Twilight Ride Series

Each Wednesday in August, Deer Valley Resort will extend its mountain biking hours to host the SCOTT Twilight Ride Series from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts. All Deer Valley summer operations at both Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges will remain open for the extended SCOTT Twilight Rides.

August 2 

Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series – Mokie

Mokie is Salt Lake City’s top-rated jam band. The band was forged by a shared love for the master jam bands and the spontaneous musical conversations they conjure.

August 4  

Deer Valley Music Festival – Utah Symphony – Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture & Piano Concerto No. 1

Experience the grand opening chords and exuberant outbursts of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, followed by his explosive 1812 Overture, an annual tradition and festival favorite. This exhilarating score is accompanied by live cannon blasts.

August 5 

Deer Valley Music Festival – Utah Symphony – Classical Mystery Tour with the Utah Symphony – A Tribute to The Beatles

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and hear Classical Mystery Tour and the Utah Symphony perform the entire album, including Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, With a Little Help From My Friends, A Day in the Life, as well as other timeless classics by the Beatles.

August 6 

St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series – San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus

The all-volunteer San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus has embodied an unparalleled standard of talent-driven social justice, since its first appearance in 1978, at the candlelight vigil following the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. Their first nine-city U.S. tour, in 1981, was so impactful, the Chorus helped many of its host cities establish their own gay men’s choral groups. Today, Artistic Director, Dr. Timothy Seelig, leads over 275 singers in the large chorus, as well as four outreach vocal ensembles. SFGMC recently scrapped plans for an international tour, instead creating an itinerary of stops in “red states.” Launching in October, The Lavender Pen Tour will harness the power of the SFGMC’s message of equality and inclusiveness, and the value in treating all individuals – irrespective of differences – with dignity. They will bring their songs of inspiration, hope—and a healthy dose of their signature whimsy—to our stage.

August 9

SCOTT Twilight Ride Series

Each Wednesday in August, Deer Valley Resort will extend its mountain biking hours to host the SCOTT Twilight Ride Series from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts. All Deer Valley summer operations at both Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges will remain open for the extended SCOTT Twilight Rides.

August 9 

Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series – Candy River’s House

Those looking to satisfy a vintage rock sweet tooth need look no further than power trio Candy’s River House. In the vein of Nazareth, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top and Deep Purple, the dusty throated Jordan Young peels through heavy layers of blazing guitar and a groovy 4 on the floor rhythm section. Bluesy, and soulful rock driven anthems built for a summer music festival.

August 12  

St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series – Parsonsfield, Laney Jones and the Spirits, Jeffrey Foucault

Known as innovators who take inspiration from the string bands of Appalachia, Parsonsfield blends tight, multi-part harmonies with a natural exuberance and energy. Chris Freeman, Max Shakun, Harrison Whale Goodale and Erik Hirschmann have been hailed by Folk Alley for a sound that “kick(s) out the windows of what most people think of folk and bluegrass.”

August 13 

Guided Historical Hike

Enjoy the beauty of Deer Valley Resort with a guided hike of the area. These hikes last three to four hours, cover moderately strenuous terrain, are typically less than six miles long and highlight the area’s mining history. Participants meet near the base of the Sterling Express chairlift, located mid-mountain at Silver Lake Lodge. Hikes depart at 8:30 a.m. Reservations are required and a $10 fee applies. Please call 435-645-6648 to make a reservation. Group size is limited to 40 participants. Participants should be in good shape, wear sturdy footwear, bring proper sun protection and carry plenty of water and snacks. For the safety of others who share the mountain, no dogs please.

August 15 

St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series – American Acoustic: Punch Brothers, I’m With Her and Julian Lage

American Acoustic: Punch Brothers, I’m With Her, and Julian Lage brings two Nickel Creek alumni—Chris Thile and Sarah Watkins—and a host of other talented musicians, together, for an unparalleled jazz-and-bluegrass-infused jam session.

August 16 

SCOTT Twilight Ride Series 

Each Wednesday in August, Deer Valley Resort will extend its mountain biking hours to host the SCOTT Twilight Ride Series from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts. All Deer Valley summer operations at both Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges will remain open for the extended SCOTT Twilight Rides.

August 16 

Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series – Frisson

Frisson is an eight-piece band composed of Oberlin Conservatory students and alumni. Drawing heavily from jazz, fusion, rock, R&B and electronic music, Frisson’s eclectic music is heavily influenced by the preeminent genre-crossing artists of today. Frisson’s songs contain strong rhythmic foundations, singable melodies and rich harmonies that serve as a springboard for improvisational explorations.

August 18 

St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series – Smash Mouth, Cracker and The Romantics

Smash Mouth has just-released a new album, “Magic,” billed as a “no-holds-barred party from start to finish.” Expect hits, like “All Star,” to get you dancing, and new catchy tunes that keep you on your feet. This show also features soulful alt-rock band, Cracker and new-wave power-pop artists, The Romantics.

August 19 

Mid Mountain Marathon 

Mid Mountain Marathon, presented by Salomon Running, is excited to announce a new course for 2017. The new course begins at Silver Lake Village at Deer Valley Resort, where it follows the iconic Mid Mountain Trail for nearly 20-miles, to its terminus. There is one last uphill push before a long, winding descent down through the Utah Olympic Park trail system, with an epic finish at the base of the 120 meter, Olympic Nordic jump. The course rolls across the Wasatch Back, through aspen and evergreen forests, at an average elevation of 8,200′ and is a largely shaded single-track.

August 23 

SCOTT Twilight Ride Series 

Each Wednesday in August, Deer Valley Resort will extend its mountain biking hours to host the SCOTT Twilight Ride Series from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts. All Deer Valley summer operations at both Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges will remain open for the extended SCOTT Twilight Rides.

August 23 

Grand Valley Bank Community Concert Series – Live PC Give PC Community Jam Session

Mountain Town Music’s annual Live PC Give PC Community Jam Session will bring local musicians together to celebrate the end of summer with a super jam which is inspired by The Band’s The Last Waltz.

August 26 

St. Regis Big Stars, Bright Nights Concert Series – Five For Fighting 

The last time Five For Fighting played a Big Stars, Bright Nights show, singer-songwriter-one-man-band, John Ondrasik found the crowd’s party vibe so intoxicating that he switched up his set, on-the-spot, to include a mix of classic get-up-and-dance songs with his own music. This year, he’s back with a string ensemble. His songs—including hits like “Superman,” “100 Years,” and “God Made You,” are alternately infectious and thoughtful.

August 26 and 27

SCOTT Enduro Cup

Following a hugely successful first year at Deer Valley Resort in 2016, the SCOTT Enduro Cup is expanding this race into a two-day event August 26 – 27, 2017. Deer Valley Resort offers a diverse selection of lift-served downhill mountain biking on top-to-bottom unkempt and technical descents to fast and rolling, speed driven trails. This stop is the fourth and final race of the season that you won’t want to miss. This event is great for spectators as well as racers. Fans can witness much of the racing action from the event village near Silver Lake Lodge or by taking a short hike up from Snow Park Lodge.

August 30 

SCOTT Twilight Ride Series

Each Wednesday in August, Deer Valley Resort will extend its mountain biking hours to host the SCOTT Twilight Ride Series from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts. All Deer Valley summer operations at both Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges will remain open for the extended SCOTT Twilight Rides.

LODGING PACKAGES TAILOR-MADE FOR YOU!

Deer Valley Resort Lodging and Reservations offers the widest variety of accommodations in the resort area. We specialize in customized vacation planning including lodging, lift tickets, transportation, travel insurance and more.

In addition to our online packages, we may also offer packages that are only available by calling our reservations center. For questions regarding all package offers, please call and speak with one of our on-site Vacation Planners at 800-558-3337 or 435-645-6528.

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Skier Services Reservations Now Open

It may be summer but it’s time to start thinking about winter! Reservations for lift tickets, ski school and equipment rentals are now available. 2017 – 2018 Ski Season: December 2, 2017 – April 8, 2018  Ski School Elevate your skiing to a higher level with Deer Valley’s Ski School. Advance reservations are recommended for

Enjoy Shared Pass Privileges with the 2017-2018 Wasatch Benefit Program

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Deer Valley Resort added a new photo.

🌺🌸🌼🌹🌷Friday, August 1️⃣8️⃣, 2017 at @DeerValleyResort.
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🌺🌸🌼🌹🌷Friday, August 1️⃣8️⃣, 2017 at @DeerValleyResort.

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Martha BurlesonId love to be there! Dang! Just visited Utah,,,i love the state,,its Beautiful in Park city,,,and Heber too,,,but the State is just Beautiful,,,,

17 hours ago   ·  1
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Ann StebenIt is paradise!!!

17 hours ago   ·  2
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Syl Culley SumpterSat at this exact spot a few weeks ago❤️💜💚

3 hours ago
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Darlene HornBeautiful fall flowers..

11 hours ago
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Lisa YoungBeautiful

16 hours ago
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Robert George FisherTime share?

1 hour ago
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Terri GriffithBreathe deep!😍😍😍

14 hours ago
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Maureen DmitruchinaSo pretty 🥀

16 hours ago
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Toni HilsonLooks so beautiful!🌸

11 hours ago
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Blanche FinnBeautiful

12 hours ago
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Sharon HoversonA beautiful day, a beautiful place, a beautiful lady!

2 hours ago
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Helga SalvatoreAwesome picture 🌷🌺🌻

7 hours ago
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Debby BaileyGorgeous area!

56 minutes ago
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Elizabeth Ann Williams BrownThat's beautiful!!!

8 hours ago
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Laura Eriksen-Zirbelfav!! 💐

15 hours ago
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John ZanoneCan I come over

9 hours ago
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Dave Ida WalshBeautiful

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Mark SwarmerBeautiful

12 hours ago
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Deer Valley Resort added a new photo.

Jess Nielsen captured this #DeerValleyMoment during the SCOTT Sports Twilight Ride Series at Deer Valley Resort. There are only two SCOTT SPORT Twilight Rides left this season. Join us for $20 lift tickets on Wednesday, August 23 and 30 from 4 to 8 p.m.
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Jess Nielsen captured this #DeerValleyMoment during the SCOTT Sports Twilight Ride Series at Deer Valley Resort. There are only two  SCOTT SPORT Twilight Rides left this season. Join us for $20 lift tickets on Wednesday, August 23 and 30 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Twitter Feed @Deer_Valley