Southern Utah News Articles
Kane County history comes alive in music and storytelling event
The history of Utah traces back about as far as the history of North America, and Kane County’s part in the story of Western settlement is epic. Kane County’s role in that sweeping adventure in history will be performed through an hour-long storytelling/music show on April 16, at 6:30 p.m., at the Crescent Moon Theater in Kanab.
The talented Clive Romney will be joining Symphony of the Canyons, along with the local 16 year old violinist D.J. McLaren to present this unique performance. Romney is Executive Director of the Utah Pioneer Heritage Organization with considerable credits, including recording producer, composer/songwriter, teacher, performer and storyteller.
As a composer and songwriter, he has produced more than 450 published works, including 40 episodes of “History of the Hymns.” Romney wrote the lyrics for the animated films ‘Swan Princess II’ and ‘Swan Princess III.’ He also did music and lyrics for a video commissioned by the National Park Service, “Over the Edge at The Grand Canyon.”
Romney has also been working with the Utah Pioneer Heritage Arts Organization to produce a unique collection of musically related stories typifying the role of each county in the record of our west. Stories of its people and culture, stories of the original settlers and their families set to music and accompanied by visual art. This amazing new accomplishment of performance art will give every county in Utah something to be proud of and help carry on our legacy. It will also provide a unique souvenir for visitors and remind them of their experiences in our communities.
The April 16 workshop performance will give attendees a preview. “Canyon Peoples’ Portrait,” a fully orchestrated musical journey, paints the canyons’ ancient roots in striking ways and evokes a picture of the varied people who lived in this rugged, wild environment. Created for our local Symphony of the Canyons, the epic piece will be played at local concerts and special events.
UPHA Executive Director Clive Romney described Kanab’s local symphony as a “peculiar treasure.” He continued to say, “it is unusual for a county with a modest population to have its own symphony.”
The signature piece performed on April 16 acknowledges the importance of both Kanab’s local history and the cultural efforts of its very special Symphony of the Canyons. Kane County’s ‘Legacy Series’ performance will have a slightly different flavor than other counties as it incorporates the ‘Western Legend’ saga of filmmaking here.
Performances will play with the notable stories of Levi Stewart, Jacob Hamblin and Mary Woolley, and even the “Rollaway Saloon” that rolled across state lines evading shutdown by enforcement officers and angry wives. If anyone doesn’t already know, the infamous “Rollaway” would literally roll on logs just across the neighboring state line to evade raids, while Utah and Arizona sheriffs never quite got together for a coordinated raid.
A special performance piece called “Pull Together” will tell of Peter Shirt’s family alone in the Pahreah wilderness. Choosing to remain alone while everyone else “forted up” in Kanab against Indian unrest, the Shirt family was eventually found successfully replanting their fields with the assistance of the supposed hostiles they should have been hiding from. “Just Might Be Alright” is about the historic explorer John Wesley Powell and his relationship with the early Mormon settlers here.
Every song showcased during the April 16 performance will tell of the very special legacy, the important family history of early settlers in Kane County. Tickets can be purchased through Crescent Moon Theater at 150 South 100 East, Kanab, (435) 644-2350. The price for the event on April 16 is $5 for adults and $2 for children under 12.