Red Rock Rondo
Red Rock Rondo is an Emmy Award-winning chamber folk ensemble consisting of six of Utah’s best-known acoustic musicians: Phillip Bimstein, Kate MacLeod, Hal Cannon, Charlotte Bell, Flavia Cervino-Wood and Harold Carr, performing on piano, guitars, violins, oboe, English horn, concertina, harmonica, bass and vocals. Their music is a well-crafted synergy of folk, jazz and classical, woven into a truly original Americana style.
Red Rock Rondo’s 1st CD, Zion Canyon Song Cycle, was #10 on the national Folk DJ charts (with the #7 song), and was deemed the “best local album of the year” by the Salt Lake Tribune’s David Burger. Their music special has been broadcast on PBS stations nationally, and won 2 regional Emmy Awards including “Best Musical Composition.”
Red Rock Rondo's new CD, Live at the Symphony: A Secret Gift, is a new Americana song cycle inspired by recently found letters from the Great Depression written in response to an anonymous gift giver on the eve of Christmas in 1933. Lives were changed by the generous offer of a helping hand. This story is told in the bestselling book by Ted Gup, A Secret Gift (Penguin Press 2010).
Phillip Bimstein composed the 14-song cycle for Red Rock Rondo and then scored 8 of the songs for full orchestra and 165-voice choir. Red Rock Rondo performed A Secret Gift in concert at Libby Gardner Hall in December 2011 with the Salt Lake Symphony, conducted by Robert Baldwin, and the West Jordan High School Concert Choir, directed by Kelly DeHaan. The concert was recorded live by Bob Abeyta of Bel Canto Recording, and the tracks were engineered, edited and mixed by Michael Greene at Rotosonic Sound. It was mastered by David Glasser at Airshow in Boulder, CO.
A Secret Gift begins with “Secret Prelude,” an instrumental meditation on generosity and compassion. Immediately following, “Silent Snow” tells how secret gifts were given to an entire community.
Each ensuing song portrays a different letter or story from that era: the struggles of single women (“Work Sleep Love”), the tragedies and triumphs of grueling dance contests (“The Last Marathon Dance”), a 14-year-old girl’s touching plea for food and clothing (“Dear Sir”), and a lighthearted celebration of a surprising but necessary food staple of that time (“Dandelions”).
Composer Phillip Bimstein's music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Spoleto and Aspen Music Festivals, London’s Royal Opera House—and his new wave band's videos appeared regularly on MTV in the 1980s.