The Fry Street Quartet at Spiral Jetty on the edge of the Great Salt Lake. [Courtesy photo]

Each year, after the Moab Music Festival’s “Music in Concert with the Landscape” series, the organization offers additional community concerts geared more toward local residents.

This week, the music festival is hosting the internationally acclaimed Fry Street Quartet, continuing with a live performance on KZMU Community Radio at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 20. KZMU music director Serah Mead and Jenn “DJ Lady J” McPherson will co-host the hourlong program, with the quartet both performing and answering questions on the station at 90.1 and 106.7 FM.

A full concert will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21, at Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

“One of the reasons we wanted to work with this particular quartet is they are representative of our local Utah talent, in addition to being internationally acclaimed,” Moab Music Festival coordinator Erin Groves said. “They’ve performed all over the world.”

Violinist and founding member Rebecca McFaul said she’s looking forward to coming to Moab – she’s never been here before.

“It feels exotic, and there’s no plane ride involved,” she said.

That’s because the group is based in Logan, where the members run the strings program at the Caine College of the Arts at Utah State University.

Fry Street Quartet also maintains an active touring schedule, performing concerts once or twice a month throughout the country, and sometimes internationally.

The quartet plays a broad range of music, from classic, 300-year old compositions, to brand-new pieces, Groves said. For example, the quartet helped premiere, along with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, a new work by Clarice Assad, a Brazilian composer who performed recently in Moab during the Music in Concert with the Landscape festival in September.

The group is often commissioned to write and record pieces.

“We love bringing new work into the world,” McFaul said.

The quartet’s “The Crossroads Project” is an interdisciplinary collaboration that joins science and art. The group worked with physicist Robert Davies to create “The Crossroads Project: Rising Tide” to address issues of global sustainability, McFaul said.

The Rising Tide performance encompasses music, information and imagery by combining the work of composer Laura Kaminsky with a science presentation.

“It (also) works beautifully as a stand-alone concert piece,” which concertgoers can expect to hear on Friday night, McFaul said.

In addition to Kaminsky’s “Rising Tide” Friday’s program will include String Quartet in D Major, Op. 76, no. 5 by Franz Joseph Haydn, and String Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 51 by Antonin Dvorak.

The other quartet members are first violinist Robert Waters, viola player Bradley Ottesen and cellist Anne Francis Bayless.

A suggested donation of $10 is requested for the Star Hall performance, which will include an intermission. All proceeds go toward the Moab Music Festival Education Initiative Award – funding that is awarded yearly to a Grand County music teacher to further students’ music education.

Last year’s award went to Phyllis Reed at Helen M. Knight Elementary. She purchased tenor recorders to increase the instrument selection for her students.

The Fry Street Quartet’s weeklong residency in Moab will include a number of educational outreach events, including workshops and performances for the BEACON Moab Strings Program, as well as programs for local elementary, middle- and high school students. The quartet will also perform for the Friday senior luncheon at the Grand Center, 182 N. 500 West.

Fry Street Quartet to perform on KZMU, at Star Hall

“We love bringing new work into the world.”

When: Community concerts, Thursday, Oct. 20, and Friday, Oct. 21

Where: Oct. 20 performance on KZMU Community Radio, 90.1 and 106.7 FM; Oct. 21 performance at Star Hall, 159 E. Center St.

Cost: $10 suggested donation for Star Hall concert


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