Homecoming to showcase ‘idol’

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The Dixie State University Student Association is bolstering Homecoming Week to welcome President Biff Williams to his new “Home.”

Singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips is slated to perform as part of Homecoming festivities and Williams’ inauguration Oct. 28 in Burns Arena. The concert, sponsored by the DSUSA, aligns with the organization’s goals to provide students and community members a college town experience.

Deward Wilson, cultural arts production director, said organizing a concert to welcome Williams stood out as an idea in the planning for his inauguration. Eager to book shows for Phillips’ North American headline tour, his promoters approached Wilson to bring the “American Idol” season 11 winner to DSU.

Student Body President Gregory J. Layton, a senior English major from Cottonwood Heights, said Phillips’ appearance sparked conversation among student government leaders after Jordon Sharp, director of student involvement and leadership, received word of its potential in mid-August. DSUSA embraced the idea.

“Our goal was to create an event to welcome the Williams family to Dixie State University during the Presidential Inauguration and offer a concert that would appeal to both students and the community,” Sharp said.

With student government’s support, funding for the concert remained a hurdle, Phillips being a platinum-selling recording artist. However, Phillips’ growing name and widespread appeal made the DSUSA’s decision to give $10,000 of its budget to help a positive one, Layton said. 

Layton said DSUSA’s portion of the tab “is a way to subsidize the cost of the concert.” Students can expect event tickets for a lower cost than if student government didn’t contribute, he said.

“It was a tough decision at first, but then we figured out it’s a great event that’s going to [include] the community and visitors and then students all going to one spot to celebrate President Williams and to have a good concert,” Layton said

Now, cheaper tickets, a headline act and different setting to welcome Williams leave one objective, Layton said: encouraging students, faculty and staff, and community members to attend the concert.       

Recent DSUSA-sponsored events like discounted admission to the Wednes-D “The Little Mermaid” showing at Tuacahn indicate student support — helped by an active freshman class — has improved early in the academic year, Layton said. Tuacahn provided 200 discounted tickets for that event, and they sold out in one morning.

“This year’s been great,” he said. “So many people are just wanting to be involved and go to things. So it’s making our job easier because they want to go and are looking for it.”

Following a string of concerts by noteworthy acts like American Authors and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Sharp said Phillips’ show should standout compared to both past events and what students will see the rest of the year.  

“His music appeals to a large demographic, and we feel this is a concert everyone will enjoy,” he said. “Phillips puts on an amazing show and this concert will be one of the biggest and best DSUSA events this year.”

Tickets for Phillips’ concert are sold at the Dixie State Ticket Office in Cox Auditorium or at dsutix.com/Box_Office/home.html. William’s inauguration is Oct. 23 in Cox Auditorium and open to students and the public to attend.