When it comes to celebrating American grandeur, few things are grander than a full orchestra playing Dvorak against the backdrop of Zion Canyon—which is exactly what the Utah Symphony is doing as part of its Mighty 5 tour.
The tour, which kicked off last night and ends Saturday, is a series of free concerts in each of Utah’s five national parks: Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, and Zion.
“It’s never been done before,” Renee Huang, director of public relations for the Utah Symphony, told Outside. “We were trying to figure out a good way to celebrate our 75th anniversary, and this year is also the centennial anniversary of the Utah national parks, so we decided to pair up for one big celebration.”
The Utah Opera Education Department found an additional way to bring music and nature together. Before the concerts, staff will hold other free activities, such as helping kids learn the songs of local bird species by playing them on orchestra instruments with musicians.
“We want the music and landscape to be interactive with concertgoers,” Huang says. “It’s been a huge effort to make this happen, so we want everyone to have a great experience.”