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The City Journals

Holladay Finishes First Ever Summer Concert Series

Sep 29, 2016 03:35PM ● By Kelly Cannon

The first free concert was on May 21 and featured Cityjazz Big Band with Katrina Cannon. (Kelly Cannon/ City Journals)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

The Holladay summer concert series wrapped up on Sept. 17 with a show from Michael Chipman and Melinda Kirigin-Voss. This was the first year the free concerts were held at City Hall Park through a partnership of Holladay Arts Council and Excellence in the Community. 

“Excellence in the Community, we pay them but they actually have their own program where they’re bringing the finest of Utah musicians to venues. They do the Gallivan Center and the Viridian,” Margo Richards, liaison with Holladay City and Salt Lake County, said. “They make the connections. They also make the connections with the sound and lighting people and bring that. They are a nonprofit and they also have funders.”

The idea of working with Excellence in the Community to provide the free concerts came about because the Holladay Arts Council was already stretched thin. 

“The arts council was really small. They wanted another event but they didn’t have the man power to bring and do another event because the Blue Moon (Festival) and arts show takes so much time,” Richards said. “So this was a way to elevate what we’re bringing to the city without having to pay for it. It was using people with the knowledge and the connections.”

Richards said the council and others involved anticipated this year being a try-out year. The first concert, which was held May 21 and featured Cityjazz Big Band with Katrina Cannon, did not have good weather. It had been raining for 24 hours before the concert started and only cleared up an hour or two before it began. Only between 100 and 200 people attended. 

“I think when we’re starting something new, no one knows what to expect. That was normal. The second one we did in conjunction with the refugee art show that we did. That was kind of to bring the crowd there,” Richards said. “The third one was with the Blue Moon (Festival) so of course there’s a huge crowd but you don’t really know. I do think there was really good music. It was good quality in art and music.”

The plan is to continue the concert series next year but have a concert every week instead of every month. The hope is the weekly line-up will generate larger crowds and have a wider variety of music.

Richards said the Holladay City Council has not yet voted on next year’s budget but the plan is to have the city provide an investment in the program. The arts council will also reach out to local businesses to help provide funding. 

“We expect it to grow and hope that we’re bringing something that they want and they just haven’t heard about it,” Richards said. 

To learn more about the Holladay Arts Council, visit