Album Analysis 2014 End-of-Year List

Sure-fire soloists, socially conscious hip-hoppers and ‘60s-scavenging rockers dominated music in 2014.

Prominent acts like Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and Kanye West released headlining projects last year, making 2013 one of the best periods since the turn of the century as far as quality albums go. However, 2014’s slate featured a slew of lesser-known musicians deserving of recognition.

Here are the Album Analyzer’s top 20 albums of the last 12 months:


20: “To be Kind” by Swans

If Swans’ 13th LP ensues on frantic note with its opener, “Screen Shot,” track two, “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett),” slows the pace down without detracting from the album’s edginess. Clocking in at 121 minutes, “To Be Kind” slithers down listeners’ ear canals with its slow, consistent instrumentals. Standout Track: “A Little God in My Hands”

19: “Dark Comedy” by Open Mike Eagle

Like a stand-up comedian balancing sidesplitting punch lines and the demons from past disappointments, this album’s funnier lyrics induce laughter until Open Mike Eagle plays the real joke. He raps snippets of anguish that contrast from “Dark Comedy’s” more humorous parts to make the collection multi-dimensional. Standout Track: “Jon Lovitz (Fantasy Booking Yarn)” 

18: “I Never Learn” by Lykki Li

Swedish Songstress Li meshes ‘70s soft rock sounds with high-octane choruses on her third studio album. “I Never Learn” contains consistency — allowing listeners to guess at each song’s major stylistic turns — but even though Li’s work features predictability, organic noises in the background make each listen much more interesting than most indie pop. Standout Track: “No Rest for the Wicked”

17: “…And Star Power” by Foxygen

Searching for motifs throughout Foxygen’s latest effort? Don’t bother. Track one, “Star Power Airlines,” indicates a “Helter Skelter”-esque quality will push “…And Star Power” forward. However, “How Can You Really,” the album’s first single, busts down the intro’s pace until lead singer Sam France’s vocals saunter with spastic pianos and horns. Standout Track: “I Don’t Have Anything/The Gate”

16: “These Days…” by Ab-Soul

Ab-Soul’s paranoid effort on “These Days…” brings out the tenseness in everyone — even guest artists. Danny Brown normally deploys fun in his raps; on track 14, “Ride Slow,” though, his syllables slither like fog over an early morning crime scene, showing how effectively Ab-Soul creates strong themes in the structure of his albums. Standout Track: “Dub Sac”

15: “Black Metal” by Dean Blunt

Blunt has a penchant for incorporating stereotypical hip-hop lyrics over his alternative-inspired beats. Take “50 CENT,” where he croons, “Five-0 coming, and they know my name.” Unlike the song’s namesake, Blunt doesn’t recite said lyrics with swagger — instead muttering to the point listeners grasp the tinge of hesitancy that makes “Black Metal” strange. Standout Track: “MOLLY & AQUAFINA”

14: “Burn Your Fire for No Witness” by Angel Olsen

On her fourth studio album, Olsen’s vocals smolder like dry brush on a lake’s bank — slowly. Similar to Foxygen, she belts cheeky lyrics (each stanza could represent some lost inside joke) and lets charred instrumentals create clouds of despondency around her short but vivid tracks. Standout Track: “White Fire”

13: “Sunbathing Animal” by Parquet Courts

Arguably indie rock’s busiest band dropped its third LP in summer, and Parquet Courts fuel the entire collection with Pavement-like ridiculousness and a drop of western motifs. However, “Instant Disassembly,” track 11, and its ballad qualities contrast from much of the album’s frantic strings and drum kicks — exhibiting a willingness to step from garage rock’s confines. Standout Track: “Sunbathing Animal”

12: “You’re Dead!” by Flying Lotus

Kendrick Lamar didn’t grace us with another project in 2014, but his lyrical madness on Flying Lotus’ “Never Catch Me” showcases more prowess on one song than most MCs show on an entire album. A stellar cameo isn’t the only aspect of note here, though, as Flying Lotus’ jazz-infused instrumentals make “You’re Dead!” impact listeners long after the final horns fade. Standout Track: “Dead Man’s Tetris”

11: “Lost in the Dream” by The War on Drugs

The album’s heavy themes and instrumentals never go too far despite oftentimes pained verses. The difference between a suspenseful horror flick and an overindulgent slasher is comparative to this collection’s balance. The band compromises depression for solace throughout the album, providing an in-depth scope that details how people cope with tragedy. Standout Track: “Red Eyes”

10: “Are We There” by Sharon Van Etten

Take a drive while listening to Van Etten’s fourth studio album; let “Are We There’s” opener, “Afraid of Nothing,” blare with the windows open and hear its lush strings collide with the crunches of tires over dead leaves. “Are We There” is all about places and the distances between them, and Van Etten’s haunting vocals only expand this quality. Standout Track: “Your Love is Killing Me”

9: “Pinata” by Freddie Gibbs

It’s fitting Gibbs’ “Pinata” would feature a guest verse by Danny Brown, whose album “Old” from 2013 included a hodgepodge that put in a collection somehow contained cohesiveness. “Pinata’s” sprawling 17 tracks detail the ails of working-class life and possible outlets for young people in difficult situations to overcome the direness of their situations. Standout Track: “High”

8: “Salad Days” by Mac Demarco

Listeners might turn Demarco’s “Salad Days” on, start tackling life’s mundane tasks, and find that the final track, “Johnny’s Odyssey” has arrived in what seemed like moments. Few 2014 LPs flow better than “Salad Days,” and although its daze-inducing instrumentals act as perfect background noise, the album’s lyrics shouldn’t be glazed over. Standout Track: “Passing Out Pieces”

7: “Benji” by Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon lead singer Mark Kozelek could craft a 12-minute, Bob Dylan-esque epic detailing a part-time used car salesman’s lunch break. Kozelek and his attention to detail push the album’s songs to greater and more meaningful levels than even exceptional songwriters can reach like on “Jim Wise.” Standout Track: “I Love My Dad”

6: “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” by Sturgill Simpson

Like Waylon, Willie and Merle before, Simpson embodies the good-timing qualities of outlaw country on his second studio album. However, outlaw country’s gods rarely mentioned LSD and cosmic voyages in their work, and this allows Simpson to draw influence from them but also incorporate his own personality and experience into this impressive collection. Standout Track: “Turtles All the Way Down”

5: “The Double Ep: A Sea of Split Peas” by Courtney Barnett

Naming a songwriter of the year seems like a daunting task, but in 2014, it’s not: That title easily goes to Barnett. “I noticed you stopped talking to me; now you’re talking to me all the time / Do you know you’re no good at listening, but you’re really good at saying everything on your mind,” Barnett utters in track one, “Out of the Woodwork,” the first of her well-worded lines. Standout Track: “Avant Gardener”

4: “Hot Dreams” by Timber Timbre

Timber Timbre’s fifth LP might impact you most effectively if you picture the most haunting scene in your mind before listening. Songs like “Curtains!?,” “Bring Me Simple Men” and “This Low Commotion” tackle scary themes with scarier sounds, and the album builds off a suspense factor more than any album in recent memory. Standout Track: “Grand Canyon” 

3: “Run the Jewels 2” by Run the Jewels

“Run the Jewels 2” dropped near one of 2014’s most complicated points — unrest in Ferguson, Missouri — and the duo’s stellar sophomore effort is just one of numerous ways Killer Mike and El-P inspired people to seek change. “RTJ2” would’ve garnered acclaim no matter when released, though, as the odd couple continues to develop a sound seasoned with bits of Southern trap music and East Coast conscious hip-hop. Standout Track: “Lie, Cheat, Steal”

2: “St. Vincent” by St. Vincent

Most artists title an initial album after themselves, but St. Vincent’s choice to do so with her fourth release hints at the confidence she holds in her current sound. Listeners hear snippets of Prince, Talking Heads and other notable ‘70s-‘80s acts throughout the 11-track “St. Vincent,” and lyrics like, “Digital witnesses, what’s the point of even sleeping / if I cant show it, if you can’t see me?” from “Digital Witness” highlight the songstress’s introspection. Standout Track: “Huey Newton”  

1: “pom pom” by Ariel Pink

Pink dropped 2014’s strongest album, and his big mouth almost still overshadowed it. Get past his questionable comments, however, and you’ll find the year’s most intriguing collection of songs. Arcade game-like chimes, ‘60s metal samples and tracks too strange to fall under any category round out “pom pom.” Arguably the album’s greatest quality is Pink’s ability to remain accessible to a wide audience despite the risks he takes in all facets of “pom pom.” Standout Track: “Exile on Frog Street”  

Men’s basketball wins conference opener

Dixie State University men’s basketball team opened up Pacific West Conference play with a win then came up short to a second consecutive ranked opponent.

Junior guard Mason Sawyer posted a career-high 23 points in DSU’s loss to No. 17 California Baptist University Saturday night. DSU rallied late but ran out of time losing 88-81.

“I felt like we were prepared well and played hard in both games,” said senior guard DeQuan Thompson, a communication major from Las Vegas. “Point Loma and Cal Baptist are two great teams that play hard and are coached very well.”

The first half of the game was highly contested as DSU and CBU traded the lead multiple times ending with 38-37 Lancer lead.

The game stayed close until the Lancers went on a 17-6 run with 13 minutes left in the game. DSU would get to within six points but could not keep a hot-shooting Lancer team from the win.

Thompson and senior forward Zach Robbins added 19 points and junior forward Mark Ogden Jr. led the team with 13 rebounds.

The Storm now have a 3-3 overall record and are 1-1 in Pacific West Conference play.

DSU beat No. 22 ranked Point Loma University Thursday night, 54-49, with the help of its all-time leading scorer, Zach Robbins, who led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Robbins had an all-around effort with five blocked shots and scored half his points from the free-throw line.

The Storm had many players contributing to the victory. Thompson and Sawyer each scored in double figures with 15 and 11. Sawyer also added five rebounds and five assists.

“We were definitely stoked about the win,” said junior guard Robbie Nielson, a business major from Portland, Oregon. “It was especially nice starting conference off beating a ranked team. It was also nice to show people our potential and capabilities.”

The game started out close with DSU leading the way almost the entire time. A 16-3 DSU run would produce a 30-14 lead, but the Sea Lions fought back and cut the lead down to 30-24 at the break.

PLNU continued its momentum shift into the second half, gaining the lead back 38-37. The game went back and forth as both teams battled physically for the lead.

The Storm next play Dec. 13 against Fresno Pacific University at home at 7:30.





Town hall meetings help decide Dixie’s direction

With the previous strategic plan of becoming a university complete, it is time that a new plan for Dixie State University is created. 

“As I was applying for this job, university status had just been gained, so I kept thinking, ‘If I get this job then I will get to be a part of the next plan,’” President Biff Williams said.

Williams got the job, and the planning process is now underway.

A planning committee has been created, a consultant has been hired and the first town hall meetings have taken place. The future of DSU is being designed right now. The process is being lead by Williams, John D. Welty, a senior associate of the AASCU–Penson Center consulting firm, and strategic planning committee members. All students, faculty and staff and community members are invited to participate in that design process. 

Planning meetings took place last week on three occasions to allow for the maximum number of people to attend and participate in the discussion. The first and last meetings were scheduled primarily for people directly involved on campus, such as faculty and staff, and students. The strategic planning meeting Thursday night was open to the whole community. 

Welty facilitated the meeting. AASCU – Penson Center is the firm that DSU hired to head the strategic plan. 

Welty presented the eight steps of the planning process that DSU will need to go through.

  1. Prepare
  2. Host Town Hall Meetings
  3. Conduct Research
  4. Develop the Desired Outcomes
  5. Formulate Strategies
  6. Develop the Implementation Plan
  7. Review/Complete the Strategic Plan
  8. Reaffirm/Refine Core Values, Vision, Mission and Formulate Strategic Position, and Goals.

Welty said that the goal of this plan is to “facilitate a process that builds from areas of strength, promise and opportunity to create a strategic plan that will guide the futures of DSU 2015-2022.”

Welty said that one way of reaching success is to engage in blue ocean thinking rather than red thinking.

Blue ocean thinking happens when we think about new possibilities and new creations. Red thinking is the opposite of that, Welty said.



1. Beat the Competition

1. Make the Competition Irrelevant

2. Exploit the Existing Demand

2. Create a New Demand

3. Adapt to Current Trends

3. Create New Trends

“We can think about how we are going to beat Southern Utah University or we can think about how we are going to make Dixie State better,” Welty said. 

His comment toward SUU is when the emergency alarms sounded in the Holland Centennial Commons building. Multiple attendees joked it was SUU getting back at him. The alarms resulted in building evacuation. 

A fire truck came to the scene and attendees of the meeting were asked to stand outdoors and wait while officers, school officials and firemen checked the building and reset the alarm system. About 20 minutes later, the alarm was disarmed and the meeting resumed.

During the second portion of the meeting, community members, students and faculty and staff worked together to answer the questions. The small groups then shared their ideas with the entire group. A portion of their answers are included in this article, but more detailed information can be found online on the strategic planning website at dixie.edu/strategicplan.

  • DSU should teach students how to network and create relationships that are long-lasting and meaningful. Doing so will increase their networking skills in the job market. 
  • DSU needs to expand academically in various different areas, including environmental studies, hospitality and applied technology courses. 
  • DSU needs to find an academic niche that will make the school more unique and marketable. 
  • DSU needs to work toward removing the stigma that DSU is an associate school by promoting the Bachelor’s degrees offered at DSU. 
  • Masters degrees must be added to the curriculum.
  • The identity of DSU must be stronger. That transition may require moving away from the Red Storm mascot. 
  • The reputation of DSU should be based off of the success of students. The successes of DSU graduates are worth highlighting.

The strategic plan won’t be able to accomplish everything, Welty said. Four to six goals will be chosen and focused on during the planning and execution process. 

“Give us your ideas and think into the future,” said William Christensen, executive vice president of academic services. “We know we’re in for some big changes, but we feel we can stay ahead of that. Don’t be afraid to think big.” 

DSU has excitement, community support, spirit, and has experienced huge successes in past years, Williams said.

At least 50 people attended the meeting, with nearly 50 percent of attendees being community members. The majority of the attendees were faculty and staff members with the minority being students. This planning process is intended to identify our future so that in five years we will able to look back and think “look at what we accomplished – we are Dixie,” Williams said.

Radio change – the holidays have a new sound

Dixie State University’s radio station has given the community of St. George something it has been wanting.

After a campus-wide survey and plenty of requests from St. George citizens, DSU’s radio station changed its format from 91.3 The Storm at the end of fall semester, which played top-40 and R&B, to X91.3, which will play more alternative music.

“We figured there’s a hole in the market, and if nobody else is playing it we should,” said Shawn Denevan, communication adjunct instructor and radio operator. “There are eight other stations playing Taylor Swift; we don’t have to be one of those eight.”

Local station X98.9 had to change its alternative format in October because it was not attracting advertisers. Because DSU has a non-commercial license it cannot sell traditional commercial advertising. The majority of the radio funds come from the university.

The survey listed 120 musicians from various genres and asked respondents who they would like to hear on the radio. Alternative was the genre that received the most votes, with top-40 getting the second most votes.

Caylie Taylor, a junior integrated studies major from Canyon Lake, California, said she is excited about the modified format.

“I’m really stoked,” said Taylor, who is also a disc jockey at the station. “I’m excited that when we play music it’s something that I can actually listen to. It’s really easy on the ears, so I feel like it’s universal, so I think more people will actually tune in.”

Some students feel indifferent about the change.

Gabbie Holbrook, a junior integrated studies major from Taylorsville, said she preferred The Storm’s variety.

“I like All-Time Low, The Maine, just alternative stuff, the classics really,” she said. “Those boy bands — they get me.”

Denevan shared a story about how his friend came across construction workers listening to the radio. When asked why they were listening to it, they said because it was the radio station that played alternative music. The expectation with this modified format is that it will increase listenership throughout the community.

Hoping to change the perception of alternative music, Denevan called it “multi-generational.”  

If you are interested in joining the radio program, go to the Jennings building and talk to Denevan in room 103.

Pittman hired as head coach

After eight years and a 2-12-2 season this year, the men’s soccer head coach Danny Ortiz has been released from his position.

Josh Pittman has been announced as the new soccer coach as of Dec. 8. Pittman has 20 years of soccer experience. Prior to Dixie State, he coached at Colorado Mesa University for seven years, building up the program.

“I felt that the program needed to go in a different direction with new leadership,” athletic director Jason Boothe said. “Danny is an incredible person and leader within the athletic department. However, I felt that the team’s performance never significantly improved over the years.”

Boothe said while the department doesn’t weigh wins and losses as the most important factor when evaluating coaches, it does come into play.

“After each season I evaluate each coach, and we sit down to talk about the season, etc,” Boothe said. “So this was not decided until after the season was completed.”

Boothe said now he is excited to see what Pittman can bring to the program.

“Josh will bring a lot of energy and passion with him to this position,” Boothe said. “I also believe he’ll bring a new look [with his] approach with the team that may produce different results on the field.”

Boothe said he has a lot of head coaching and recruiting experience at the Division II level — something very important for the future success of the team.

“He has built a spectacular program over in Grand Junction,” media relations assistant John Potter said. “That Mavericks team went to the final four this year with the players he recruited over the years.”

Pittman spent the last year in the youth development program for the Colorado Rapids from Major League Soccer.

Potter said Pittman came from a great program with great student athletes who excel in the classroom.

“I think he will be a spectacular fit for what we like to do and grow the Dixie State soccer program like it should,” Potter said.

Pittman has played professional soccer for two seasons with the Detroit Neon and the Detroit Wheels in the Continental Indoor Soccer League and the United States Interregional Soccer League. Prior to that he played collegiate soccer at the University of Massachusetts.

Dixie Sun News’ opportunities provide real-world lessons

By Andrew Hansen

For Dixie Sun News


The Dixie Sun News presents students with the opportunity of earning college credit while gaining experience, and don’t forget – there’s a scholarship.

Being a part of Dixie Sun News means providing Dixie State University students with a go-to source for information on all things DSU.

It’s crucial that students know what’s going on around them,” said Rhiannon Bent, assistant professor of communication and adviser for the Dixie Sun.

Along with scholarship opportunities, the work done on the paper provides the staff with experience they need to gain greater traction in today’s job market.

“Meeting deadlines is crucial to any work environment,” said Payton Davis, senior English major from Kamas and editor-in-chief of Dixie Sun News. “The experiences I have had on the Sun have developed skills you need in the workforce.”

Bent encourages students with prior experience – such as writing for their high school newspaper or taking a photography class – to consider joining the staff.

“Obviously, coming in with some kind of experience is going to be a good thing,” Bent said. “Some people just think, ‘Maybe I’m interested, so I’ll try it out,’ so it’s a good opportunity for people to really figure out whether journalism is for them.” 

While experience is always helpful, it is not required. Davis said he worked in construction before going into journalism.

Aside from interest, being on staff also takes time. Staff members can take up to three credits in Comm 2210 or 3210, with each credit equaling six hours of work time a week. Those hoping to qualify for the scholarship are required to take at least two credits.

The time required to devote to the newspaper may seem daunting to students who already have a lot on their plate; however, there is much fun and excitement to be enjoyed as a Dixie Sun staff member, said Taylor Decker, a junior communication major from Cedar Hills and Dixie Sun News sports editor.

Decker said she has had several experiences she would not have had if she was not a part of the staff. As the former editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, Decker fell in love with sports and writing – so she combined her passions.

In doing so, Decker has met many people of interest and networking contacts, such as NFL scouts and coaches of professional sports teams.

If you would like to take advantage of the many opportunities offered by being a member of the Dixie Sun News staff, there are positions available for staff writers – for all sections, including sports and news – who write two stories a week and are taking, or have taken, Comm 1130. Multimedia reporting positions are also available for those who enjoy producing and editing videos for Dixiesunnews.com and the weekly news that is broadcast on Southern Utah Live.

You can fill out an application at http://bit.ly/xRNQfn. For more information, contact Bent at 435-652-7816, or email her at [email protected].

Students volunteer time to help connect DSU with community

Moving at a pace even Drake would envy, the Dixie State University Student Association’s service efforts went from zero to 50,000 really quick.

Almost 300 volunteers helped package 50,000 bean-and-rice meals in three hours at the Campus to Community event Dec. 1, said August Barlow, DSUSA community engagement coordinator and a sophomore biology major from Colorado City, Arizona. However, the event, held in the Gardner Center Ballroom, and its lofty numbers only hint at the potential of service opportunities at DSU, Barlow said.

“[Campus to Community] was huge … ,” he said. “We do it every semester, and we had so many people sign up that we’re thinking about going to 100,000 or even 400,000 meals.”

With the DSUSA’s new service department in its first semester, student government has bolstered students’ chances to positively contribute to both DSU and the St. George area with events like Campus to Community, said Megan Church, vice president of service and a senior integrated studies major from St. George. Students can expect a sundry slate of charity events next semester, she said.

Church said a large portion of the department’s projects this semester provided a learning experience for student leaders to understand what approaches to service prove most effective.

“We’re about learning here at DSUSA, so we learn about what events have worked and what events haven’t worked for next semester,” Church said. 

With those experiences in mind, DSUSA plans to focus on its largest successes from fall while adding entirely new projects, she said. Another Campus to Community event, community partner events and an alternative spring break all round out next semester’s service schedule.   

Barlow said a large portion of his job with student government deals with finding volunteer opportunities in the community — mainly for not-for-profit organizations seeking help. He said these volunteer options deal more with individual work and demand much effort but ultimately give participants much fulfillment.

A crucial project in particular, Barlow said, is volunteer work at the SwitchPoint Community Resource Center, 948 N. 1300 West.

“That is one of the greatest opportunities because you’re changing their lives so dramatically, and you can go to their facility and help in so many ways,” he said.

Compounded with another Campus to Community event and individual opportunities Barlow mentioned, Church said students should consider an alternative spring break trip to San Francisco.

Church said next semester’s alternative spring break will be DSU’s first; participants spend five days in San Francisco and devote that time to various projects. DSUSA will pick 15 applicants to join the trip, and although not all details are concrete yet, Church said it should be low-cost compared to other universities’ alternative spring breaks.

“It’s going to be an incredible time, and students can come in and talk to me to learn more about that,” she said.

Ultimately, Shaelie Knutson, DSUSA campus relations coordinator and a senior communication major from Preston, Idaho, said despite having busy schedules, students should take advantage of the service department’s offerings next semester.

“I would say to interested students that getting involved is the best way to help them grow and contribute positively to their community,” Knutson said.

Students interested in service opportunities can visit Church in the DSUSA offices on the Gardner Center’s second floor.

Pianist Corinne Beard chosen as semester’s outstanding artist

Dixie State University student pianist Corinne Beard will have her own piano someday, she said, but for now she plays on the ‘Behemoth’ in the Eccles Concert Hall.

Beard, a senior music major from St. George, revels in the emotional musical expression from composers Brahms, Debussy and Shostakovich. Her role as a classical pianist is to interpret the music through the intentions of the composer, she said.

Music Department Chair  Glenn Webb said Beard was one of the outstanding seniors in the program this year. It was a combination of the terrific work on her senior recital and the cumulative work of accompanying other musicians, he said.

The second youngest of four siblings, Beard said the rule in her home was that she had to be 8 years old to start taking piano lessons. She said that she was very jealous of her siblings, and didn’t see why it was a big deal to have to wait.

“It made me feel good to have something that I could accomplish– (something) that I could practice and that I was good at,” Beard said.

When Beard talks about music, she uses phrases like “express emotion,” and “moved by music.”  She said the older she gets, the more she is drawn to classical music as a way to express herself.

“Music is the most natural and most sincere way I can [express my emotions],” Beard said.

She prepared for a year prior to her senior performance. Practicing upwards of four to five hours a day as she neared the recital, she said she realized the pieces she chose would help her learn what she needed to work on as a performer.

“It was a good experience because in that practice I progressed the most I ever have as a musician,” Beard said.

“She has not only worked hard at her degree, but she has been an active collaborator with other students for years now,” Webb said.

Jeffery Jarvis, dean of visual and performing arts, said the first time he heard Beard play was during the Inauguration Week for DSU President Biff Williams. He was impressed with how professional Beard sounded, he said.

“What I was struck by was how sensitive and supple the playing was,” Jarvis said. “Finding a voice on the piano is a tough thing to do.”

Growing up, Beard never had a problem finding the motivation to practice, she said.

“The older I got, the more I stuck with it, where other people my age were playing the piano stopped,” Beard said. Piano was just kind of what I stuck to. I couldn’t leave it. I couldn’t [stop] play[ing] it … It came so naturally, and [it was] something I loved.”

She said there were phases in high school where she didn’t want to pursue piano, but when she got into college she knew that music needed to play a role in her life.

Beard said the piano students become really close with each other. Part of this includes inside jokes, such as giving names to the piano in the Eccles Concert Hall like Franz (after Franz Liszt,) Bertha, or the Behemoth. 

Beard’s husband is also a musician, she said. She said that it seems like playing an instrument comes naturally to him, while she feels the need to practice more often.

Beard’s future plans involve continuing to teach and to keep performing with other musicians in the community. Her favorite style of music to perform is chamber music, she said. 

Respect for the composers and the music is what drives Beards performing, she said, and she doesn’t want to make the performance about herself.

“As a musician I try to make everything come back to just the music,” Beard said.