Accomplished USU alumnus to perform locally
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 23:09
A lot has changed since Austin Weyand first performed at WhySound in Logan, Utah nearly six years ago. For one thing, Weyand said, the venue now has carpet.
"It's really kind of a funny story," said Weyand, a former alumnus of USU's guitar performance program. "I was the first person to perform there when they first opened up. It was just a concrete floor, and I think they were still in the process of renovating the room and painting everything."
The musician will return to perform at WhySound on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 8 p.m.
During his undergraduate studies at USU, Weyand's musicianship was recognized throughout the music department. A winner of the Outstanding Guitarist Award and two-time winner of the USU Concerto Competition, Weyand studied under former professor Michael Christiansen and received a baccalaureate degree in guitar performance.
After graduating from USU, Weyand went on to earn a master’s degree in guitar from Northern Illinois University, studying with classical, jazz and world music recording artist Fareed Haque. He said he has kept busy with music since then, playing Celtic and bluegrass music on a European tour, taking a rock band through the intermountain west, adding his Spanish Flamenco playing to an eight-week stint on the United States premiere of the musical Zorro and recording two full-length albums.
"I'm always trying to stay busy," Weyand said. "I'm always working on something new."
The Austin Weyand Band has gone through several different incarnations and lineup changes, but the upcoming performance will find Weyand accompanied by cellist Sam Runolfson and percussionist Colin Jensen.
"Olson is a phenomenal cellist," Weyand said. "His cello lines take on the role of the bass player and really add another dimension to the songs. Colin Jensen's percussion and drum playing is really unique. He has a style that really helps to drive us along without taking anything away from the rest of the music."
Weyand has inspired other guitarists and musicians with his abilities and his approach. Rich Bischoff, a fellow musician and proprietor of Studio 14 in Brigham City, remembers the first time he saw Weyand play in the Kent Concert hall.