Copland & the American West

Copland & the American West


Sep 04 2022


7:00 pm


Red Cliffs Lodge


Red Cliffs Lodge
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  • Event Description
  • Artists & Program
  • Important Details

 The Festival Stage and seating area are on the lawn at scenic Red Cliffs Lodge, overlooking the Colorado River and set against towering red rock walls, which blaze in the distance at sunset. This spectacular location and environs have appeared in numerous films and commercials, and there is a museum on-site honoring that heritage. You may well recognize the view!

Concert Description:  Known in the 20th century as the “Dean of American Composers,” Aaron Copland created what we think of as the “western” sound. His music evokes lonely, wide-open spaces, the wilderness, and the rugged terrain we think of as the American West depicted by old Hollywood cowboy movies. Copland has a shared background with Billy the Kid. They were both born in Brooklyn, New York! But while the “Kid” went west, Copland stayed mainly on the east coast writing pieces like The Red Pony and his ballets Rodeo, Billy the Kid,” and Appalachian Spring.” He remains an important touchstone for his music, which captures the time before freeways and airplanes and evokes big western cities. Gerald Elias, known equally as an author of musical murder mysteries, a violinist, and a composer, shares two of his works with us about early settlers in the Moab area. Grandstaff is a brief portrait of William Grandstaff, who homesteaded and ranched at mile 3 on the River Road (Highway 128). Conversations With Essie is taken from Essie White’s oral history of her days running the White Ranch. This concert will be performed at the site of the White Ranch, known today as the Red Cliffs Lodge.

Artists & Program




  • Susan Jamieson, narrator
  • Justin Austin, baritone
  • Theo Hoffman, baritone
  • LP How, violin
  • Jesse Mills, violin
  • Christopher Otto, violin
  • Austin Wulliman, violin
  • Jessica Meyer, viola
  • John Pickford Richards, viola
  • Dawn Avery, cello
  • Jay Campbell, cello
  • Robert Black, bass 
  • Demarre McGill, flute
  • Anthony McGill, clarinet
  • Oleksiy Zakharov, bassoon
  • Michael Barrett, piano, conductor
  • Timothy Long, piano
  • Nathan Royal, tenor banjo 
  • Joshua Jensen, percussion 
Aaron Copland: “Hoe-Down“ & “Saturday Night Waltz” from Rodeo

Dan Emmett arr. Copland: “The Boatman’s Dance”

Gerald Elias: Conversations with Essie 

Copland:  Zion’s Walls

Traditional: Water, Blood on the Saddle  

Elias: The Ballad of William Grandstaff

Copland: Appalachian Spring


Important Details

Concert location: Red Cliffs Lodge, at milepost 14, Scenic Highway 128, north of Moab, Utah

Link to Red Cliffs Lodge Map

Optional MMF Free Concert Shuttle Location: Margaret L Hopkin (Grand County) Middle School, 439 S 100 E, in Moab, UT

Link to Shuttle Location Map

Shuttle Departure: 5:30 pm

Concert Time: 7:00 pm

Concert is outdoors

All ages welcome. Please monitor children.

No pets allowed

Concert is outdoors.

Lawn seating only; no tent seating in 2022. MMF provides chairs, and you may bring blankets for sitting on the lawn if desired.

Comfortable clothing suitable for the outdoor venue is recommended, including a light sweater or windbreaker as weather can be unpredictable.

Link to Accessibility Page

Link to COVID Page

Food and beverages are available for purchase, including beer and wine. No outside food or drink is allowed at the concert venue. You may bring your own water and bottled water is available for purchase.

Restaurant dining is available pre- and post-concert at the Cowboy Grill, inside Red Cliffs Lodge, starting at 5:30 pm. For restaurant reservations, call Red Cliffs Lodge at 435.259.2002.

Adults: $40

Students : $5 (ages 6 – 18)

Children under age 6 are free, accompanied by their parents.

Tickets are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Program, artists and location are subject to change without notice.

Program, artists, and location are subject to change without notice.

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