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Imagining Community: How It Relates to Music, Art and History

Alyssa Robinson

Every year the art museum at Utah State University holds a music and art concert series for the public. This year the series is focusing on community and what it means in relation to history, spaces and art.

The series is organized by the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art and USU’s associate professor of Musicology, Christopher Scheer. The series continues even when the museum is under construction, which extends to the end of 2018.


“The idea of imagining community is in as much a scholarly exercise and thinking about what community is, but it also helps us in the museum to think about what our community is," Scheer said. "And how we can constantly be thinking about that community and redefining it, especially as we’re going through this construction where our physical space is changing but the collection is staying the same - the series are staying the same.”


The concert connected the history of Logan in 1948-49 when American composer Roy Harris and his concert pianist wife, Johana Harris had a residency at Utah State University. Rika Asai, who helped guest curate the concert believes that this was a turning point for the music in Logan, as well as a reflection of a larger community.


“The broader idea is kind of aligned with Roy Harris as an American Composer an Americanist and sort of looking at a small community and the art that was going on here says about art across the United States," said Asai. "So I think what we see here could, you know, be mirrored in many other locations and I think this tells us something about a national community as well.”


The next Museum and Music concert will be on December 3rd at USU’s Caine Performance Hall. USU music students will help present and play music, focusing on community during the depression era, and how it relates to current times.