The positive impact of a local symphony orchestra could not be illustrated more profoundly than this Friday night when two outstanding student musicians from Kanab High School headline the annual Spring Concert of the Symphony of the Canyons. The performance begins at 7 p.m. in the Kanab High School Auditorium.

Violinist Blaine Allan and percussionist Taylor Armstrong, who conductor Kortney Stirland describes as two of the finest young musicians ever produced in Kanab, will have soloist roles in the performance. Allan will lead the performance of the first movement of Max Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Armstrong, playing the marimba, will be featured in all four movements of Ney Rosauro’s Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble.

“We couldn’t be more proud of Blaine and Taylor, and what they have accomplished in their very young musical careers,” said Stirland. “Both are perfect examples of what we hope our local symphony inspires in young people.”

Allan, a senior at KHS, began playing violin at the age of five and has studied privately for the past 13 years. His current violin teacher is Bonnie Romkey of St. George.

Blaine has received numerous awards for both classical violin and fiddling. He was recently awarded his third Gold Cup for violin solo at the Southern Utah Strings Festival. He also participated in the Utah High School Activities Association Solo/Ensemble Festival for the past four years, always receiving a superior rating at region and progressing on to state competition. This year he was selected for the Utah All-State Orchestra.

The son of Dr. Stuart Allan and Wendy Allan, he also sings in the high school’s X-Press vocal group, plays golf and served as the Cowboy mascot during the football season. Blaine’s other hobbies include riding snowmobiles/four-wheelers, and tinkering with remote-control cars.

Armstrong, who has only played the marimba for two years after years of study in percussion, has been chosen to attend the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy for a six-week session this summer. His musical honors include being selected for the National Honor Band and in Washington, D.C., All-State band and orchestra. He recently won first place playing the timpani in state competition.

Son of Dr. and Mrs. John Armstrong, Taylor began playing piano at age six, before moving over to percussion at age eight. Interested in the marimba, he asked his parents if he could have one for Christmas a couple of years ago. After only two years of playing marimba, he steps onto the stage at Kanab High School Friday evening to play a major concerto on the instrument.

Music runs in the Taylor family, as his maternal grandfather, Dennis Griffin, is a percussionist with the Utah Symphony.

The Symphony of the Canyons will open the program with Franz von Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture and conclude the program with Capriccio Espagnol (movements 3-5) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.