Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
The Cricket
Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

» E-mail

» Subscribe (RSS)

(Sean P. Means | The Salt Lake Tribune) Gigi Snelling, 16, sings Pink Floyd's "Money" during MusicGarage's opening performance Thursday at the Utah Arts Festival at Salt Lake City's Library Square.
Utah Arts Festival: Rocking a tradition

Is there a better way to start off the Utah Arts Festival than by getting the Led out?

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Not to the young rock musicians in MusicGarage, the nonprofit music organization whose performers kicked off performances at the Park Stage in Library Square.

"We're gonna play another Led Zeppelin song, because we love 'em so much," said Gigi Snelling, 16, before launching into a strong rendition of Robert Plant's soaring vocals for "Immigrant Song."

Led Zeppelin are "the forefathers of modern rock," Snelling said after the show. (According to her mother, Gigi has a Robert Plant poster on her bedroom wall.)

Her little brother Liam, 10, who plays guitar in the group, chimed in, "Jimmy Page is God."

MusicGarage's repertoire isn't all Led Zeppelin, though -- the set included Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, and a spirited finale of Rush's "Tom Sawyer."

"The kids pick their own music -- I don't tell them what to play," said Steve Auerbach, director of MusicGarage.org.

Why do the kids pick music that predates them by a couple of decades? "They're musicians, so they pick the music that's challenging musically," Auerbach said. "Maybe they're raiding their parents' record collection."

Yes and no, said Gigi and Liam's father, Jeff Snelling.

Though the family plays lots of music at home, he said the children "have introduced us to a lot of things. I never liked Iron Maiden as a kid, and now I do."

Michele Snelling, Gigi and Liam's mom, said the MusicGarage experience has taught teamwork, as well as "confidence, and how to be in a band."

Gigi Snelling said she was nervous the first time she sang on stage. "I was kind of afraid to be a frontwoman at first," she said. "The more I practiced, the easier I became."

MusicGarage isn't the only group of young musicians playing the Park Stage today. It's become a Utah Arts Festival tradition to start the first day with young musicians. Teens from Soul Research Foundation played after MusicGarage, grooving on everything from Aretha to Adele.Sandy's School of Rock and Wasatch Music Academy were scheduled to follow.

Being on the Park Stage, where big-name acts will play later in the evening, is appropriate. "This is where it starts," Michele Snelling said. "These kids will become the bands that are headlining."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.