I strive to ensure the arts are meaningful, impactful, and relevant to my community. In order for that to happen, creatives must have a solid support system in place, and it is that ideal that steers my career as an Arts Administrator.
My community-mindedness is reflected through my volunteer work with the Ogden City Arts Advisory Committee. I am an advocate for the continued development of Ogden’s Nine Rails Creative District.
As an active flutist, I can be found playing chamber music with NEXT Ensemble, principal flute with Chamber Orchestra Ogden, or as a soloist at the Ogden Bach Festival. I hold a BA in Music from the University of St. Thomas, an MM in Flute Performance from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in Arts Administration from Southern Utah University.
Acting Artist Director
A few years later, she enrolled me in the Youth Conservatory at Utah State University, where I studied with Charlene Shelzi Jarvis and Annette Colledge. I was a student at Weber State University where I studied Piano Performance and Pedagogy with Drs. Ralph van der Beek and Yu-Jane Yang. I fell in love with collaborative music while at Weber State, where I was employed as an accompanist for the Ballet Department (Joanne Lawrence, Amanda Sowerby), the Voice Department (Karen Brookens Bruestle), the String Department (Viktor Uzur), and the Musical Theatre Department (Jim Christian, Bradley Vieth). I was a founding member of the piano trio, Tria Fata. We performed around the country at festivals including the Green Lake Chamber Music Festival (Vermeer String Quartet, Amelia Piano Trio), the Northern Lights Music Festival (Veda Zuponic, Marina Horak, Thom Rosenburg), and the MTNA Chamber Music Competitions (National Finalists, 2010).
I've just started work as the Company Pianist at Ballet West, which has been a phenonmenal experience! More recently, I have been employed as a Collaborative Pianist by the Sid and Mary Foulger Chamber Music Festival (Dr. Jean Barr, Lydia Artymiw, Shi-Hwa Wang), SummerSong (Kimi Kawashima), the Department of Musical Theatre Voice Studios (University of Utah), Imagine Ballet Theatre (Raymond van Mason), and a number of theater companies across the USA. Currently, I’m the Acting Artistic Director for NEXT Ensemble, a chamber music collective in Ogden, UT, where we hope to transform the concert experience by creating engaging musical programs in spaces where you wouldn’t expect to hear formal art music (read: chamber music in a bar!!!).
Program Guide & Artistic Advisor
I'm an Associate Professor of Music at Weber State University, where I teach courses in music history and music in culture. I'm also musicologist-in-residence for the NEH-funded “Beyond the Beat” project at SpyHop, a youth media organization in SLC. I'm the Artistic Advisor and Host for NEXT Ensemble, an Ogden-based non-profit dedicated to performing chamber music in nontraditional places and transforming the concert experience. My current research studies issues of listening and identity in a postmodern musical landscape, and my electronic compositions and improvisations explore the boundaries between music and noise, and of expression and formalism.
I am classically trained on piano, flute and piccolo, and I find music to be a more precise way of expressing my life than words are. I’m curious about life and love people who have that same curiosity. I am a librarian at Weber State University and an active performer for groups in the Ogden area. I also enjoy getting out into our mountains to play; hiking, biking, boating, snowboarding, or chilling by a campfire. Avicii, Miike Snow, and live jazz music are guaranteed to make me dance.
For me, classical music is often a reflection of the composer’s interpretation of life, whether that be the personalities of the characters in fairy tales, or the flow of a river, or the depths of sadness felt when we have lost love or life. Our culture’s latch on social media has me convinced that we are all seeking connections. With live performances of classical music, connections can be felt in a way that is unique and memorable to a degree that it changes us. It can connect us as performers and listeners by triggering emotions during the same moment, the same phrase, or the same note. In the same way people from all walks of life can agree on the beauty of a sunset, they can find that same agreement and connection in the beauty or comedy or ugliness or sadness of classical music.
One of the reasons I love NEXT Ensemble is that they work to take away the disconnect between classical music performances and the audiences attending them. Classical music can be digested without being served on a gold fork. The shows presented by NEXT Ensemble are performed by local musicians, with welcoming of audience participation, without an expected dress code, with introductions and descriptions in familiar language, and in performance spaces that are very un-concert hall like. These things are important to me because I want to share my love of classical music with the people in my life who might have spent a lifetime avoiding it because of the seemingly snobbishness of it.
I am a native Utahn who loves Ogden and all things music. A current soprano with a small local ensemble, Vocalis, and former chorus member of Utah Symphony Opera, I love being surrounded by - and making - music.
Classical music is more important now than ever! It’s a genre that can bring the masses together. It’s a universal language. One that teaches us love, patience, kindness, empathy and sympathy along with plenty of drama at times, too. Classical Music connects us in a way that tv, movies and books can’t quite do. And its boundless. There are very few people that aren’t impacted in one way or another, by classical music and the story it tells.
This is why I’m so passionate about NEXT Ensemble. We encourage people from all walks of life to come as they are - all are welcome! We make events universally affordable and accessible to everyone! The variety of performance themes and interactive dialogue between performers and audience keeps audiences engaged, continually learning and glad they came and spent the evening with us.
This is my first year on the Board of Directors.
Mickey Larson is an Ogden enthusiast and arts advocate. She serves as an Ambassador for United Way and sits on the board of Next Ensemble and Ogden Musical Theatre. She holds a BA in Musical Theatre from Weber State University and manages Larson Pool Plastering with her husband. She performs across the Wasatch Front on stage and film, singing, acting and public speaking. She has been a guest speaker for National Plasterers Council in Washington DC and will speak again in Houston Texas in 2020. She has been the Director of Marketing for CenterPoint Legacy Theatre and works in Theatre administration frequently. Mother of two delightfully irreverent children, her greatest accomplishment is getting them to bed at 8:00PM.
Classical Music heals, empowers and educates all walks of life, every socioeconomic background, race and religion. It is the great human experience we can all collectively experience together or by ourselves uniting our hearts and minds. It truly binds humanity together in it’s simplest form.
NextEnsemble recognizes the incredible power of music and it's power to bring our community together. By allowing the community to participate directly with the music in a completely new and unexpected way, they transform the concert experience; allowing all audience and musicians to experience the magic of music.
I am a local writer and photographer. I love all things Ogden, and you'll find me supporting many Ogden art and community events. For my day job, I spend my time as a geek translator, and I’m a data geek.
I’m a music lover, but I really don’t know much especially regarding classical music. I tend to listen to classical music and more specifically movie soundtracks to help me process my emotions and even understand the world around me better. But through Next Ensemble I get to learn the meaning of these pieces and understand the context they were created. It helps me relate to the music even more. So, I joined the Next Ensemble board because I have loved the music and the experiences I’ve had attending the shows.