The son of a piano teacher, he developed a love of music while growing up in
Now, as vice president of marketing, he helped the
Classic rock wasn't the musical genre: It was the landscape, as the orchestra played against backdrops of red-rock arches, hoodoos, spires and canyons.
The symphony's August tour included full-scale outdoor concerts near Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonlands,
"We got as close as we could get to the national parks," the 1997 Columbia River graduate said. "Three were on the boundary. We didn't want to go into the parks because we wanted to respect their mission of preservation, but it was all set in the red rock.
"My role was to get word out and promote it, make connections with people," he said. "I did advance work, coordinating with county councils and mayors and visitors bureaus."
There were 75 musicians and 75 other personnel such as stagehands.
"Twelve hundred people showed up, which is half the population of the county."
Smaller performances took place in park visitors centers. After staffers researched native bird songs, members of a woodwind quintet performed them and taught kids to play bird songs on a piano.
"One of my favorite moments was a brass quintet concert at
"The concert at Bryce literally was on the rim of the canyon; you could see all the hoodoos and
The four free concerts drew a total attendance of 6,000.
"Some said it was the first time they ever heard an orchestra perform live."
It also was a new experience for some musicians. About 30 orchestra members have arrived in the last two years and Miles saw a lot of them sharing "Oh, wow!" moments.
Even Miles, who studied in
"Capitol Reef? I didn't even know it was there."
Off Beat lets members of The Columbian news team step back from our newspaper beats to write the story behind the story, fill in the story or just tell a story.
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