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Concert at Huntsville Monastery offers classical music on sacred grounds

By Karen Painter - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Aug 5, 2022
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Classical pianist Hunter Noack performs classical music in stunning landscapes across the country.
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Mural on one of the buildings where monks once labored and resided at Huntsville Monastery.
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One of the statues on the Huntsville Monastery grounds.

The Odgen Valley Land Trust (OVLT) is hosting a unique classical music experience at the historic Huntsville Monastery on Saturday. The concert will feature classical pianist Hunter Noack playing his 9-foot Steinway piano -- that he hauls around the country on a flatbed trailer behind a pickup truck.

Since 2016, Noack has played 147 concerts in some of America's most stunning landscapes, replacing the traditional concert hall. Noack grew up hunting, fishing, and kayaking in Oregon rivers, so Noack decided to combine his two passions: classical music and the great outdoors.

"The concert is limited to 300 attendees, but each will receive a wireless headset and be able to roam and explore the landscape at our most iconic location," says OVLT board member Lisa Karam.

The iconic location is the Huntsville Monastery. It was formerly called the Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity and was founded in 1947 by 32 monks who were mostly veterans of World War II. At the monastery's height of operations in the 1960s, it served 84 monks. The monks were active farmers, ranchers and beekeepers. Much of what they grew provided for themselves, but they also sold products in the abbey's bookshop including freshly baked bread, jams and creamed honey. In addition were hand-built items for sale including clocks made by Brother Nicholas.

In August 2017, the monastery officially closed. The surviving monks currently reside in a senior living facility in Ogden and plan to return to the monastery as their final resting place.

In 2021, the Ogden Valley Land Trust along with Summit Land Conservancy secured an $8.8 million grant from Natural Resources Conservation to preserve the property.

"For 75 years, the Abbey graced the southern end of Ogden Valley as a symbol of spiritual strength, human industriousness and communal cooperation. The legacy of the monks will live on in our hearts and memories forever," said Gail Meakins, chair of Ogden Valley Land Trust.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a silent auction and a private property tour. A sampling of these items includes pews that were once in the Huntsville Monastery chapel, season passes to Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, Atomic and Goode ski equipment, Sun Valley and Snowbird ski packages, unique artwork by local artists and assorted gift baskets.

The concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. "To meet the acoustical challenges of performing in the wild, the music reaches listeners via wireless headphones. Unconfined to seats, Huntsville concert goers will be able to explore the landscape, lie in sunny meadows, and commune with the sacred grounds where the monks once plowed and prayed," says Karam.

Tickets are $75 and are limited to 300 concert attendees. Info on how to purchase can be found at ogdenvalleylandtrust.org/events/. For more information about Noack and his music, go to inalandscape.org.


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