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The music of Ralph Vaughan Williams with Eric Saylor on Monday's Access Utah

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Ralph Vaughan Williams ranks among the most versatile, influential, and enduringly popular British musicians of his era. Throughout his wide-ranging career-as composer, conductor, editor, scholar, folk song collector, teacher, author, administrator, and philanthropist-Vaughan Williams worked tirelessly to improve the standards and quality of British musical life. His dedicated work ethic and fastidious attention to musical detail helped him forge a compelling and original expressive idiom grounded in a profound understanding of musical history and tradition, popularized in concert staples like the Tallis Fantasia, The Lark Ascending, A London Symphony, the Songs of Travel, and the Serenade to Music.

In this sesquicentennial year of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birth, American Festival Chorus and Orchestra will present a program of some of his most beloved choral and symphonic works on Saturday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Daines Concert Hall. There will be a pre-concert lecture, "'Bright portals of the sky': The Choral Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams," given by Drake University Professor of Music History Eric Saylor, at 6:30 p.m.

Eric Saylor is Professor of Music History at Drake University. He received a bachelor's degree in Violin Performance from Drake University, an M.A. in Musicology from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Saylor's area of specialization is British art music of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing particularly on the life and works of Ralph Vaughan Williams and on pastoralism in music. He is the author of Vaughan Williams (Oxford University Press, 2022) and English Pastoral Music: From Arcadia to Utopia, 1900–1955 (University of Illinois Press, 2017) and co-editor of two essay collections: The Sea in the British Musical Imagination, with Christopher Scheer (The Boydell Press, 2015) and Blackness in Opera, with Naomi André and Karen M. Bryan (University of Illinois Press, 2012). He is former President of the North American British Music Studies Association.

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Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.