10 am Speaker:  Early Musical History in Ephraim, Sanpete, & at Snow College

 Dr. Vance Larsen    

Vance Larsen has served as both Director of the Horne School of Music and Dean of the Fine Arts Division at Snow. During his tenure in these leadership positions, the music program at the college has seen significant growth in enrollment and quality. His ensembles have been recognized by multiple performances at CBDNA and other state and regional events. Dr. Larsen has been instrumental in the introduction of contemporary music study into the music history curriculum at Snow, having written courses in Jazz and Popular Music, Rock Music History, and the History of Rap and Hip Hop. He has also worked to integrate contemporary music into the performance curriculum, using pop and rock music groups as a lab experience for advanced performance students. Dr. Larsen has considerable experience in the public schools, where he taught for five years and was named UMEA “Rookie of the Year.” Dr. Larsen is also a drummer/guitarist/songwriter, with significant professional experience. As a professional performer, he has played as the opening act for Credence Clearwater Revisited and Performed with Merrill Osmond. Dr. Larsen has also had a distinguished career as a field artillery officer in the Army National Guard. He served as a firing battery commander and battalion executive officer. His military career culminated with an assignment as a field artillery battalion commander, where he presided over two successful active duty deployments. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 27 years of service. Dr. Larsen holds degrees from Snow College, Utah State University, Brigham Young University and a PhD from the University of Utah.  Vance will speak about the early musical history and traditions that make up the rich cultural heritage of Ephraim, Snow College, and the Sanpete Valley.


11 am Speaker: The Blackhawk War and Ephraim

Richard Stevens

Richard spoke last year at the conference about the history of Ephraim Canyon and we feel lucky to have someone local who is as knowledgeable about the Ephraim area as he is. We invited him back this year to talk about the history of the Blackhawk War and its connection and significance to Ephraim and the Sanpete Valley and he graciously agreed! Richard Stevens is a retired research biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife and a former Director of the Great Basin Experimental Station.  He is an author of over 150 publications and books.  His groundbreaking rangeland, wildlife habitat and ecological research has taken him throughout the Great Basin and the American West.   Richard graduated from Snow College, Brigham Young University and The University of Arizona.  He has lived most of his life in his home town of Ephraim and is passionate about local history and pre and post settlement vegetation.  This should come as no surprise, as Richard’s Ephraim and Sanpete Valley roots are deep and mirror the founding and settlement of the area.  All of his ancestors settled in the Sanpete Valley with the first at Manti in 1851, Spring City 1853, Ephraim 1854, and Moroni in 1856.  Richard’s wife Marie is also a multi-generation Utah native whose ancestors settled in Box Elder and Summit counties.  Richard and Marie have 5 children, 20 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.