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Chase Fine Arts Center Celebrates 50 Years with Kelli O'Hara and AFC

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017

Daines Concert Hall
Daines Concert Hall

The Daryl Chase Fine Arts Center is getting a makeover— exactly 50 years to the date it opened. Utah State University Caine College of the Arts (CCA) dean, Craig Jessop, has been here since the very beginning of it all when he himself was a student at Sky View High School and his teacher told him he should attend the original grand opening of the building. Jessop remembered the opening as the best thing that had happened to the valley at the time.

The original opening of the building was October 18, 1967, and Jessop and the college plan to unveil the newly renovated Daryl Chase Fine Arts Center on its 50th anniversary, October 18, 2017, with a gala featuring Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Kelli O’Hara, pianist Kurt Bestor, the American Festival Chorus & Orchestra and students and faculty of the USU Department of Music. The gala is held in the crown jewel of the building, the Newel and Jean Daines Concert Hall.

Some participants from the original dedication ceremony who will be coming back for the 50th anniversary unveiling include Logan mayor and professor emeritus Craig Peterson, who was the cultural vice president of the Associated Students of USU and professor emeritus Warren Burton.

Besides the Daines Concert Hall, additional building renovations include the Morgan Theatre, Tippetts Galleries, Ron and Janet Jibson Family Courtyard, Impact Commons, Hansen Atrium and the Sid G. Perkes Theatrical Design Complex.

Along with the 50th anniversary of the building, this year also marks USU’s Year of the Arts, a year-long celebration demonstrating the unique power of the arts to illuminate, transform and inspire the human spirit. The program brings award-winning talent, performances, artists and exhibitions to Cache Valley.

“The Year of the Arts promises to be an amazing year of musical experiences for our students, faculty and the northern Utah community,” Cindy Dewey, head of the Department of Music in the CCA, said. “From Kelli O’Hara to jazz legend Brad Mehldau, who will be appearing with his trio, to the Utah Symphony, there will be something for everyone. The Departments of Music and Theatre Arts will be collaborating to produce the musical Once Upon a Mattress. Students will have exciting opportunities to not only hear our visiting artists perform, but also to learn from them in master classes and workshops.”

Mason Johnson, one of the directors of Logan’s Block film & art festival and Year of the Arts partner, feels lucky to live in Cache Valley where the community is embracing and empowering its artists, leaning against conventional norms and national trends of budget cuts for arts programs.

“USU’s Year of the Arts campaign celebrates the fluid collaboration between community, educators and artists,” Johnson said. “It is a testament to Cache Valley’s arts patronage and to carry forward a steadfast commitment to advance arts programming. This ensures our community’s continued focus on innovation and sustainability for our artists and programs.”

For tickets and more information, contact the CCA Box Office located in room L101 of the Chase Fine Arts Center on USU’s campus, call 435-797-8022 or go online to  

Writer and contact: Whitney Schulte,, 435-797-9203

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