EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Utah Academy Arts students in St. George to release 13-track album

Oct 10, 2023, 6:16 PM | Updated: 6:44 pm

ST. GEORGE — The next generation of artists are hitting the right notes in St. George where the Utah Academy Arts is creating a live album together in hopes of making it big.

For a student at Utah Academy Arts, Emerson Williams, songwriting is more than a hobby.

“Music was like my first love,” she said. “I think I wrote my first song in third or fourth grade. It’s like a way of showing your mind to people. It’s like a journal but in a song form.”

At the academy, Williams and her fellow classmates and musicians learn how to turn their passion into a full-time gig. Growing up, Blake Foster developed a love for music watching his mom play the guitar, piano and drums.

“I had been writing songs on my own. There’s so many different parts to it that I didn’t realize,” Foster said.

Blake Foster playing the guitar. (KSL TV)

Now, he’s learning from professionals like Cameron Stymeist.

The songwriter and music producer moved from L.A. to St. George during the pandemic.

“People would travel to me and work on their songs,” Stymeist said.

Then he found new clients at Utah Arts Academy.

“I was like you guys write songs here, you guys have artists that want to do this for a living? I’m in!”

Cameron Stymeist speaking about his craft. (KSL TV)

Right now, they students are getting ready to release a live album. 13 songs written by students and recorded live in front of an audience.

“We released two albums so far. Already has 3100 plays in the first two weeks,” said Stymeist. “To think that someone in high school could write something like this. In St. George, Utah, come on!”

He believes students can build on this foundation and put St. George on the map.

“My dream college is Berkely College of Music out in Boston,” said Foster.

“I’d love to move to Nashville,” said Williams. “Just getting into the music industry in some way would be fantastic for me.”

Their first single is called “you two are cute”, and it was written by a junior, Katie Ellis, who won a nation-wide artist competition among 7,000 other songwriters. It’s available now on Spotify.

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Utah Academy Arts students in St. George to release 13-track album