Gary Zhan


Gary Zhan, 14, was born in Tucson, Arizona, and now is a freshman at Logan High School. He has lived in a large variety of places, including Tucson, Los Angeles, New York City, and Logan. He started playing piano at the age of 5, and currently studies with Professor Gary Amano. He has been involved with the Youth Conservatory, the youth piano program at Utah State University since 2010, and won a number of top prizes at the annual piano festival. Gary received the Outstanding Award of Youth Conservatory Classroom Student in 2014 and the Spencer L. Taggart Memorial Award in 2016.
Aside from piano, Gary enjoys playing tennis and is a member of the Logan High School tennis team. He also loves skiing and swimming. He is actively engaged in various extracurricular activities at school, including FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America), and Speech/Debate. Gary is interested in scientific research. He was selected as one of the top thirty finalists in the nation and won the Second Place Technology Award and Scott A. McGregor Leadership Award at the 2018 Broadcom MASTERS national competition hosted by the Society for science & the Public in Washington, DC.

Aaron Lacey

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Aaron Lacey, a Senior at Ridgeline High School, is the son of Amy and Paul Lacey, and a cello student of Julie Huppi. He began playing the cello in his Las Vegas middle school orchestra in sixth grade. The first time he brought his cello home, he began sounding out “Pirates of the Carribean” and “Star Wars” by ear. He realized early on that playing the cello was fun and something that came naturally to him. He began practicing many hours a week and taking private lessons. His Uncle Nate, a cellist, introduced him to the “Dvorak Cello Concerto” and he fell in love with the piece. He set a goal to someday perform it in a concert hall with a full orchestra. He is honored to be performing this piece with the Cache Symphony Orchestra.

Aaron has received superior ratings at State Solo and Ensemble and was a 2016 ASTA winner for his “Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos” performance with Emily Ransom. He earned 3rd place at the 2018 Young Artist Cup music competition. He is currently part of the Chamber Music Project in Le Trio Vivant, coached by Rosemary Hatch, as well as section leader in the Ridgeline ARCO advanced orchestra, directed by Dr. John Findlay. He enjoys teaching young cello students and performing in the community. Aaron also enjoys acting and singing and recently played “Donkey” in Shrek, the Musical, at Ridgeline High School. After high school, Aaron will serve a church mission, then attend Utah State University. He would like to thank his music teachers from the Clark County, Logan and Cache school districts for their years of support, and especially Julie Huppi, for mentoring him in music and life, and believing in him from the start.

Dr. Mark Anders Emile

Mark Emile, conducting photo

Currently Dr. Emile is the music director/conductor of the Cache Symphony Orchestra, the music director/conductor of the Northern Utah Symphony, conductor of the New American Philharmonic, and manager of the American Festival Orchestra (under the baton of Craig Jessop). He has been a music professor at Utah State University since 1981 (conducting, orchestration, and various string classes). He maintains between 5 and 10 private violin/viola students a week, and occasionally performs with the Utah Symphony and with other professional orchestras. He is also a first violinist in the Orchestra at Temple Square.

Dr. Emile studied conducting with Robert Shaw (Atlanta Symphony), Michael Charry and Louis Lane (Pittsburg Symphony), Thomas Briccetti (Omaha Symphony), Sir Brian Priestman (Miami Symphony), Robert Emile (Lincoln and San Diego Symphonies), Harold Evans (University of Nebraska Opera), Tibor Kozma (IU, Bloomington, Opera) and Giora Bernstein (Pomona College). He has conducted professional, university and youth orchestras across the country, including California, Colorado, Nebraska, Missouri, Alabama, Utah, Idaho and Maryland. He has also had the honor of conducting premieres of works by Dominick Argento – “In Praise of Music” (a set of “songs” for orchestra), and “Out To The Wind” an opera by Robert Beadell, which was broadcast live on national public television.

His violin background includes a DMA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he studied with Ozzie Lehnert (violinist in the Casals Trio), an MM from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and a BA from Pomona College, CA. He has performed in professional orchestras, including the San Diego, Omaha, Birmingham, Huntsville, Lincoln, and Utah Symphonies. He has performed on stage with well know artists from all genres; such as Arthur Fiedler, André Kostelanetz, Glen Campbell, Chet Atkins, Peter Schickele (P.D.Q. Bach), Peter Nero, Pink Martini, Daniel Heifitz, Chuck Mangioni, Toni Orlando and Dawn, and many others. He has performed and acted in movies with Glen Close, Meatloaf, Taj Mari (the famous Disney actor), Skitch Ulrich, Gary Oldham and others. He has also recorded movie scores, for television and theaters, such as “The Iron Giant”, “Lydian’s Jest”, the Walt Disney Move “The Scarecrow”, and “Zena, Warrior Princess” episodes.

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