2019 Guest Conductor
Bryce Rytting’s education is unusually varied: his studies in Germany, the U.S. and England have earned degrees in conducting, history and music theory. Princeton University awarded him a Ph.D. and M.F.A. in musicology. Graduate work under Helmuth Rilling at the Frankfurt Conservatory yielded a Künstleriche Reifeprüfung (literally: artistic maturity ) in conducting. And his bachelor degree was magna cum laude from the University of Utah in music theory. He has also studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. In 1986 Bryce joined the faculty of the Eastman School of Music. He went to BYU in 1989 where he was named BYU School of Music Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1998 and BYU Professor of the Month in February 1997. Bryce has served as music director of Pro Musica (a choir based in Salt Lake), conductor of the Park City International Music Festival orchestra, guest conductor of the Salt Lake Symphony and Southwest Symphony and Chorus, conductor of orchestras and chamber music coach for several seasons at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, and has conducted opera, choir and orchestras at BYU. In 1998 he was named music director of the Utah Valley Symphony and permanent conductor for the Utah Regional Ballet. For his work in the community, he was awarded the National Music Month Award by the Provo Arts Council in 2000. In 2001 Bryce joined the faculty at UVU. He served as music department chair from 2002 until 2010. His wife, Lysa, is a professional harpist. The Ryttings have three children: McKay, Mairin, and Christopher.
2019 Guest Artist
Alex Melecio has a voice that blends the strength and masculinity of the classic Mexican Charro with the soft sweetness of a pop balladeer, and he uses it to blend tradition with the unexpected.
As a child in Sinaloa, Mexico, he was first introduced to the music of Pedro Infante and Roberto Carlos, as well as the Beatles and the Bee Gees. That early introduction to two musical worlds would stay with him and ultimately lead to a career.
Years later, having emigrated to the U.S., he began singing in local and regional shows, never letting a chance to perform go by. With his voice, charm, and his ability to connect with an audience, he won over the hearts of Hispanic audiences in everything from home concerts to shows in front of 20,000 people. In 2012, he was a finalist on “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento”, one of the most popular television shows among Hispanics in the U.S., where his voice reached a national audience for the first time.
On his debut EP, released by Rumor Records, Alex sings originals as well as fresh, inventive covers of some of Latin America’s greatest hits. With a voice that is deep and traditional as well as agile and modern, he performs songs like “Y llegaste tú”, made famous by Banda El Recodo, with an acoustic pop sound all his own and a disarming poignancy. “Como quien pierde una estrella”, Alejandro Fernandez’s new classic, also makes an appearance but transformed into a stirringly simple pop/R&B tune.
But there’s more to Alex’s debut than covers. His originals are beautifully personal, and he delivers them with a sincerity that hits home. On “Si te tengo a ti”, a sticky retro-pop tune, he sings about hope and courage in hard times; parts of his life that he owes to the love and support of his wife and children; and on “La mitad de mí”, an intimate and bittersweet ballad, he talks about the longing that comes from having left his country to make his life elsewhere.
On this, his debut release, Alex puts on display his love of Latin American classics as well as his songwriting and performing prowess to convince us that the great Latin American musical tradition is in good hands. From beginning to end, he delivers a perfect blend of tradition and invention, lending new breath to some of Latin music’s greatest hits, as well as introducing us to a couple of his own future classics. And with just a cursory listen, it’s clear that his voice is set to take its place among the best in Latin music.