Fed up with "sleazy" entertainment on television and on the movie screen, Murray citizens are contributing their talents to provide their community with worthwhile family entertainment.
The art-and-music appreciation movement crosses all age groups, involving senior citizens and youngsters.The Alvino Rey/Luise King concert scheduled for Saturday at the Murray High School is example of the blending of the old with the new in the growing community support of the arts.
Guitarist Rey and his wife, Luise (of the famous King Sisters), will perform a 3 p.m. program of traditional jazz and ragtime music - songs from the unforgettable '40s. Jazz pianist Bob Bailey will join them. Admission is $5. The money will be used to build a patio and plant flowers at the Heritage Center, 6150 S. State.
Joining those listening with nostalgia to songs of their era will be teenage members of the Murray High School Band. They will be studying the difference between jazz, swing and ragtime - quite a departure from today's heavy metal music.
"There is an all-out effort to revive the spirit of this community through music," said program coordinator Clark Cushing. "This program gives families a chance to enjoy top-rate entertainment. It's an effort to combat the sensationalized, sleazy entertainment of today. We're offering a positive alternative."
Saturday's program kicks off a series of cultural events to entertain Murray families during the spring and summer seasons.
To promote Murray's arts, an advisory board was created a year ago. Businessman William Wright chairs the committee.
Wright, a former Boston Red Sox professional baseball player, is an ardent supporter of the arts. He believes culture balances and enriches a person's life.
His life changed from focusing almost exclusively on athletics to an involvement with music when he married his wife, Susan. A dancer, Susan currently teaches at her own ballet school. The Wrights' daughter, Michelle, has danced with Utah's Ballet West.
"I want other families in the community to share the same enrichment we've experienced through the arts," said Wright.
Murray is overcoming a lull in its arts program with refreshing new talent, said Wright. For instance, the Murray Symphony is now under the direction of volunteer conductor Robert Zabriskie. The symphony, comprised of all volunteer members, is drawing larger crowds and receiving community praise.
The Christensen Centre, 4880 S. 70 East, is host for the largest ballet school in the state. The ballet will be performing this summer in the Murray Park Amphitheater.
Currently, community members are casting votes for their favorite play to be performed this summer at the amphitheater. They are choosing between "South Pacific," "West Side Story" or the "King and I." Performers will be volunteer Murray citizens.
The council has extended its arts promotion to include painting and writing competitions.
"We're committed to improving our community by improving family entertainment," said Wright.