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Kanab, Utah's Weekly Newspaper, Serving Kane County, Utah & the Arizona Strip

Southern Utah News Front Page: October 18, 2018

Southern Utah News Front Page Photo

Stirland receives AARP achievement award

AARP Utah State Director Alan Ormsby (l) reads of Kortney Stirland’s many accomplishments as he was awarded the 2018 Outstanding Southern Utah Volunteer. Photo by Betty Colston.


By Dixie Brunner

AARP has finally recognized what many of us have known for years – Kortney Stirland is awesome! He was honored at a recognition dinner on October 10, in St. George, as AARP’s 2018 Outstanding Southern Utah Volunteer.

Kanab pharmacist Kortney Stirland has been a community favorite for years. His amazing work as Music Director for the Symphony of the Canyons has made him a perennial public favorite. On top of his already busy schedule, he has directed the volunteer orchestra since 1984.

“Aside from his family, the orchestra has been his life,” said orchestra violinist Donna Casebolt, who also is a Symphony of the Canyons original. “Through his music, he has made the world a better place.”

Anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to Stirland and the amazing orchestra quickly realizes the talent and dedication all members possess! Besides playing several concerts a year and community plays, they also perform an outstanding concert on the patio of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Visitors from all over the world are wowed by how such a remote rural area can have a world class orchestra such as Symphony of the Canyons.

If you want to watch Stirland in action and be serenaded by the amazing music of the Symphony of the Canyons, come and hear them November 30 at the Cowboy Christmas!

There are many costs associated with putting on the great shows, such as sheet music, musical arrangements and buying and renting musical instruments. In order to continue having this wonderful southern Utah/northern Arizona asset, Cowboy Christmas is the orchestra’s one major annual fundraiser.

The dinner/concert will be held at the Kanab High School Auditorium, with the concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. A social hour and dinner will start at 5:30 p.m. at the Kanab Middle School. You can purchase tickets in advance for the dinner/concert or concert only at Come and support the Symphony of the Canyons!

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