CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Accompanied by talented local musicians, award-winning violist Ellie Welker will perform a one-night-only concert in St. George this weekend. Along with her beautiful music, Welker will also share her story of how she came to know the gospel in what promises to be an unforgettable musical and spiritual experience.

Exterior of the historic St. George Tabernacle, St. George, Utah, Jan. 1, 2022 | File photo by Ammon Teare, St. George News

“I Believe in Christ”: A Musical Night with Ellie Welker will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the historic St. George Tabernacle, located at 18 S. Main St. The concert starts at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

“I feel that this is where my dream started to grow,” Welker said. “I always thought that if I ever do a concert tour, St. George would be my first place to go.”

Welker lives for performing. Born and raised in Taiwan, her musical journey started at age 5 with piano lessons. She discovered the viola when she was 9 years old, beginning a lifelong love affair with strings.

Welker earned a bachelor’s degree in viola performance from Taipei National University of the Arts in 2018, serving as associate principal violist for two years. In 2022, she obtained a graduate certificate from the USC Thornton School of Music. She has since toured around the world and collaborated with renowned artists and musicians such as Asian pop star JJ Lin, Grammy Award-winning producer Zedd and Hollywood composer Christopher Young.

Now based in Los Angeles with her husband and son, Welker is the founder and CEO of the California Youth Music Competition, an annual event that provides a platform for children with musical talent to showcase their performance ability in front of a panel of distinguished judges. She also teaches strings for the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles at Heart of Los Angeles, a free after-school music program for underserved students.

Violist Ellie Welker, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Ellie Welker, St. George News

Welker’s mission is twofold. As a devout Christian, she is passionate about sharing her testimony of Jesus Christ through music. As a musician, she aims to promote viola and inspire audiences around the world to become better acquainted with its beautiful sound.

Although the upcoming concert will be Welker’s first solo performance in St. George, audiences may recognize her as the winner of the Southwest Symphony’s 2023 Concerto Competition. She joined the symphony onstage at the Cox Performing Arts Center last spring for a recital of Bruch’s “Romance in F major for Viola and Orchestra.”

Southern Utah is also a place close to Welker’s heart. Her husband, Jake Welker, grew up in St. George.

“It’s just like my second home,” she said. “People are so nice, so down-to-Earth. Everybody’s there to help.”

Welker will be accompanied by Mark Gubler on piano and vocalist Philippe Hall. Gubler, a member of Utah Tech University’s music faculty, currently works as the founding director of the Resonance School of Musicianship while maintaining a large piano studio comprised of students of all ages and abilities. Many of his students have received notable recognition, and others have accepted music scholarships to major universities.

After graduating from Brigham Young University with a bachelor of fine arts in music dance theatre, Hall has performed around the world for over 30 years as a singer, actor, dancer and voiceover recording artist. He created Singing Revealed to help both aspiring and professional vocalists break through their limits and reach their fullest potential.

“My mission is to change the world once voice at a time by empowering the individual to discover their own voice,” Hall said. “Coming together with Ellie for this performance is exciting. I want to support her and everything she’s doing, and support local artists here in St. George.”

Together, these three artists will perform the works of author and composer Rebecca Belliston. This concert marks the viola debut of these pieces.

“I hope that when people come to this concert, they can find resonance in my music,” Welker said. “Everything I do is my testimony of Jesus Christ. It’s always my dream to share that with my music, so I really hope when people come, they can find peace.”

Event details

What: “I Believe in Christ”: A Musical Night with Ellie Welker.
When: Saturday, March 9, starting at 7 p.m.
Where: St. George Tabernacle, 18 S. Main St., St. George.
Tickets: Free.
Resources: Facebook.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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