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USU's Caine College of the Arts Honors Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell

Monday, Feb. 04, 2013


Denise Albiston

Caine College of the Arts

Utah State University

Phone: (435) 797-1500



LOGAN — Utah State University’s Caine College of the Arts will honor Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell with a performance by the Fry Street Quartet Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in the Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall.


The celebration recognizes a generous endowment gifted to establish a permanent base for a resident string quartet program at Utah State University. The gift, the Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell Resident Quartet Endowment, will benefit the students in the Caine College of the Arts and the Cache Valley community for generations.


The newly announced Dan C. and Manon Caine Russell Resident Quartet Endowment will allow quartet members to build and strengthen a string program, considered one of the best in the nation, in the USU Music Department. 


“It has been a great privilege for the past 10 years to cultivate the string program at the Caine College of the Arts,” said Rebecca McFaul, violinist in the quartet and professional practice assistant professor. “We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to nurture our students’ experiences alongside sustained artistic pursuit.” 


Arriving in Logan in 2002 with support from the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation, the Fry Street Quartet undertook the responsibility of building a performance-based approach to further evolve the string program at USU. Within a few years of the residency, there were more than 40 students as string majors.


“The growth of the string program is a credit to the sustained interest and support of Dan and Manon, the leadership of the university and the Caine College of the Arts, and the character of the young people who have come to study here,” said Bradley Ottesen, violist in the quartet and faculty member.


Dan and Manon Russell have been generous supporters of the arts for decades. In 1981, in honor of her mother, Marie Eccles Caine, Manon and her sister, Kathryn Caine Wanlass, established the Marie Eccles Caine Charitable Foundation. The Foundation supports many scholarship and programs at USU, as well as numerous community arts programs in northern Utah.


Individually, Russell and Wanlass donated funding to create a world-class performance hall on the Utah State University campus. In 2006, the Manon Caine Russell Kathryn Caine Wanlass Performance Hall opened its doors to the public. The Performance Hall has enriched the community of Cache Valley and helped to bring the arts of Utah State University into a national spotlight.


“It would be difficult to find someone in Cache Valley whose life has not been touched — in fact, significantly enhanced — in some way by the Marie Eccles Caine Foundation — Russell family, under the leadership of Dan and Manon,” said Utah State University President Stan Albrecht.


The Russells have supported the arts through multiple administrations at the university and changing economic conditions, carrying on the Caine family tradition of supporting the arts at Utah State University.


“Without the support of Dan and Manon, the culturally rich environment of Cache Valley, which we all enjoy, would be a very different place, as would the college that was named for their family,” said Craig Jessop, dean of the Caine College of the Arts. “We are most grateful.”


The Fry Street Quartet was founded in 1997 in Chicago, named for its first rehearsal space in a Chicago neighborhood. After competing in the Yellow Springs Competition and Banff International String Quartet Competition, the quartet was invited to travel to Israel in 2000 for the International Encounters Chamber Music Seminar, studying with Isaac Stern. The famous violinist arranged for the quartet’s debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001. The quartet has been awarded many honors, including Utah Artists of the Year by the American String Teachers Association and Utah’s “Best in State.”   


“Joining the Fry Street Quartet and the Caine College of the Arts faculty has been a tremendous joy and honor for me since my arrival last year,” said Robert Waters, violinist in the quartet and professional practice assistant professor. “I’m constantly inspired and energized by working with my colleagues, both in the quest to perform the string quartet literature and in the endeavor to educate and lead our next generation of musicians and citizens into their future.”


“‘Where your treasure is, there is your heart; where your heart is, there is your happiness.’ That is true for Manon and Dan Russell,” said Joyce Albrecht, first lady of Utah State University and development officer for the Caine College of the Arts. “Dan and Manon have spent a lifetime enjoying and supporting the arts at Utah State University and the community of Cache Valley. This latest gift to endow a resident quartet commemorates their mutual involvement and commitment to the future success of our talented students and faculty at this great university.”


Tickets for the Fry Street Quartet performance, which is open to everyone, are $15 general admission, $10 seniors and youth, $8 USU faculty and staff and free for USU students with valid ID. For more information or to buy tickets, visit the Caine College of the Arts Box Office in room 139B in the Chase Fine Arts Center, call 435-797-8022 or online at the Production Services website (  


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