Skip to main content

36th Annual Spring Concert

Suzuki Strings Presents Spring Concert May 2
By Lindsay Szczesny

The Suzuki Strings will present their 36th annual spring concert on Thursday, May 2 in the Thorley Recital Hall (SUU Music Building) at 7:00 pm. A $5 donation is appreciated.

About three decades ago, Sara Penny moved back to her hometown of Cedar City with her young family. She had a degree in journalism, but soon found her passion for teaching music. While teaching violin to college students at SUSC, she realized that many of their technical difficulties could have been addressed when they were beginners. The popular Suzuki method outlined an approach for helping children learn to play instruments beautifully from a young age, and Mrs. Penny sought training in the method and began teaching local children to play the violin. Penny collaborated with another violin teacher, Shannon Pointer, who had actually studied with Dr. Suzuki in Japan, and they started teaching a group class for young violinists.

Over the years, Suzuki Strings of Cedar City has provided wonderful opportunities for kids from Southern Utah to play string music together in weekly group classes. Their first song is often Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and eventually they learn to play difficult concertos. As teenagers, these students are also usually involved in their school orchestra programs and take private lessons, too. Of course, a giant benefit is the friendships that develop amongst the students.

The upcoming Spring Concert features all the students involved in the program, from very young beginners to advanced players. The audience will enjoy selections by Bach, Handel, Dvorak, and Schumann, as well as fiddle songs Polly Wolly Doodle and Cotton Eye Joe. The Suzuki Orchestra will play Somewhere Over the Rainbow and the familiar Spring Concerto by Vivaldi. This piece features the soloist Irene Hu, 13, who plays in the Cedar Middle School orchestra and takes violin lessons from Heather Wilhelm. Her parents are Howard Hu and Sunny Chen of Cedar City.

Mrs. Penny is stepping back from her many responsibilities as the director of Suzuki Strings in order to spend more time with her husband and adorable grandchildren. Her service and organizational skills are so appreciated in the arts community as she tirelessly works with the Cedar City Arts Council, The Orchestra of Southern Utah, and the students in her violin studio. As her daughter Bridget Lee stated, “I think she is the hardest-working person I’ve ever met. And she is passionate about giving kids these kinds of opportunities.”

I am one of the former students fortunate enough to benefit from the diligence and vision of Sara Penny. And with gratitude we all say thank you for your many years of dedicated service and great teaching. We hope to keep this organization strong for many more generations of young string players.
For more information email


Popular posts from this blog

Workshop Schedule For Nov. 2 and 3, 2018

Friday, Nov. 2 Regional Suzuki Strings Workshop & Concert Heritage Center/Festival Hall Conference Center Room 7, enter by office on southwest corner of building and go upstairs or from 2nd floor of parking garage by Festival Hall sign Arrive at least 10 minutes before class to be ready, sit quietly and listen when it’s a piece you do not know yet. Conference Center Room 2 enter by office on southwest corner of building and go upstairs or from 2nd floor of parking garage by Festival Hall sign 3 p.m.
(Some of you may need to arrange to get out of school early to be on time.) Cello: Catherine Anne Willey Schulzke, guest clinician Elfintanz (Elf Dance)
Angus Campbell
John Dunbar Theme
Perpetual Motion (beginners open D) Melany Jeffs, pianist Advanced Violin: Denise Willey, guest clinician Allegro by Fiocco 2nd Seitz Gavotte in D Major Gavotte from “Mignon” Karaly Whitesel, piano 4 p.m.

Merry Christmas from Suzuki Strings Cedar City

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Frontier Homestead program on Nov. 5, 2018.  We appreciate the students, teachers, pianists and families involved.  Thanks to the staff at Frontier Homestead for providing this opportunity to share our music.  Videos and photos by Heather Wilhelm, teachers and parents. If you have one you want to share please send to

Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas

Video links of the performances:

Blue Bells

My Dreydal

Frosty the Snowman

Here We Come a Caroling featuring the cellists

First Noel

O Come Little Children

Jingle Bells

Silent Night

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Thanks to Heather Wilhelm and Samantha Herring for the Christmas group class downstairs

Regional Workshop November 1 & 2, 2019

We are thrilled to announce our annual workshop!  This year we have clinicians from around Utah.  Please join us for this wonderful musical opportunity!  Workshop is included for group class participants. There is a workshop only option (click below).  Teachers are welcome at no cost.  Workshop registration is online:

Workshop Only Registration

The workshop begins on Friday (11/1) at the Heritage Theater in Cedar City.  Hours are: Friday 3:30 to 7:00 pm.  Saturday 9 am to 2:00 pm with a 5:00 concert.  Lunch is provided for all participants on Saturday.   (The Storybook Parade is at 2:00 on Saturday afternoon.)  

Payments are accepted under the "Payments" tab on the blog site through PayPal.  You can also send a check written to "Suzuki Strings"  c/o Amy Gold, 12 N. Cove Drive, Cedar City, UT  84720.  

Peter Romney started cello at the age of five, and grew up studying under, among others, Carol Tarr, Richard Hoyt, Richard Aaron, Rodney Farrar, Tanya Carey, and Kory Ka…