2017 Clinicians

Scott Holden 1Dr. Scott Holden – Piano Division

Dr. Scott Holden holds music degrees from the University of Michigan, Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, where he was awarded the Horowitz Prize. Studying at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, he was a Fulbright Scholar.   He is the currently the chairman of keyboard studies at Brigham Young University.

He has performed in 40 US states, as well as Canada, Mexico, England, Belgium, Holland, Russia, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Hungary, China, and Vietnam.   Holden’s performances and recitals have been broadcast on NPR, NBC, the CBC, as well as numerous performances on local networks.  He is a member of the American Piano Quartet with whom he has made many international tours.

He has recorded for Parma, Bridge, and Tantara and NAXOS Records.  His newest CD, Beyond Vernon Duke was given a five-star (highest) rating, being praised:  “Holden exhibits profoundly musical readings with obvious commitment and great attention to detail.”

 A prizewinner in numerous piano competitions, his 1996 Carnegie Hall debut recital was a result of winning first prize in the 1996 Leschetizky International Piano Competition. The New York Concert Review then wrote: “He is a pianist in the ‘effortless technique category’ whose main concern seems to be in matters of interpretation, and is ready to put his own stamp on the music.”   He has also performed at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall and Moscow’s Svetlanov Hall.  With his interest in contemporary music, he has premiered numerous works,  including William Wallace’s 2nd piano concerto with the Utah Symphony under Keith Lockhart.  The Salt Lake Tribune wrote “Mr. Holden secured the stage in a virtuosic performance….We were torn between examining every new note passing by our ears, and Holden’s pianistic acrobatics.  It was a wonderful dilemma.”  Highlights of performances in the 2016-2017 season include venues in Singapore, China, Boston Conservatory, and Indiana University among others.

He has adjudicated and given master classes at festivals and pedagogy workshops across the country. He has contributed chapters for various books including both volumes of “The Pianist’s Craft” which was recently republished in China.   Dr. Holden’s students have been frequent prizewinners in numerous competitions, including MTNA and the Gina Bachauer; they  have been accepted to the leading graduate programs in the nation.   When he is not busy with music, he is the father of four children, and is a passionate explorer of Utah’s red rock canyons, and avid long distance cyclist.


saxophobiaRob Verdi  – Band Division

Rob received his Music Education Degree in 1984 from Arizona State University in Tempe. While in Arizona, Mr. Verdi was a featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony, performed in a variety of musical ensembles, and enjoyed the excitement of teaching junior high music. In 1983 he helped form the Side Street Strutters Jazz Band, which went on to become the house jazz band of the Disneyland Resort for 22 years. Rob continues to be a regular performer at Disneyland, conducts jazz workshops for the Disney Magic Music Days Guest Talent program, and participates in a variety of musical ensembles and projects in the Los Angeles area. His passion for collecting saxophones has resulted in a collection of over 100 saxes and an additional 150 rare wind, brass, and percussion instruments. In 2008, Rob was featured playing his 6 1/2 foot tall contrabass sax on the soundtrack of “Horton Hears A Who.” He hopes to someday establish a musical instrument museum where visitors of all ages can see, hear, and even play some of his rare instruments.


James ArbizuJames Arbizu – Strings Division

 James currently holds a masters degree in orchestral conducting from Brigham Young University, where he guest conducted the BYU Symphony Orchestra and Co-conducted for a Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts Grant for New Chamber Music. He has conducted many youth orchestras and community orchestras, including the Lincoln Youth Symphony, the Nebo Youth Philharmonic, and the Star Valley Messiah Orchestra and Choir. He currently holds the post of Orchestral Director for the Salt River Symphony Chorus and the Evanston Civic Orchestra. For his undergraduate studies, James received a baccalaureate degree in Music Education from Weber State University. As a teacher, he directed the Star Valley High School Bluegrass Band, who played 20-30 times a year, professionally recorded 2 CD’s and received perfect scores at adjudications every year during his tenure. Over the past decade, James has performed with various groups, both classic and bluegrass. He performs regularly from Spring to Fall as lead fiddle of the Bar T 5 Band as well as at county fairs and other community events.  He has played over 150 paid gigs over the past year as lead fiddle.


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