He is Park City’s very own “community conductor of musical affairs.” It’s a labor of love for Brian Richards, executive director of Mountain Town Music (MTM), a local nonprofit formed in 2001 to stage a free summer concert series in Park City and surrounding communities. Here’s his take on being the man who plugs Park City in.
I’ve been a music lover since I was 5 years old. I grew up listening to everything from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones. I used to own a music store here—play a little guitar, some trumpet—but in the end I realized my passion for music would be fulfilled through something other than performing. This job lets me do that and take my lifelong love of music to a higher, almost spiritual level by serving the people of this wonderful community.
I’m a staff of one in the off-season, sort of the Swiss Army knife of the outfit. I do all the marketing, booking, and contracting. I’m also the janitor.
Seeing all the smiles at our concerts and watching the little kids up in front of the stages dancing and hula-hooping—bringing the town together to revel and celebrate music and creating one community under a groove.
When the summer ends and the music stops.
Definitely Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. She’s a gorgeous firecracker. I’m not in awe of many people, but I was definitely a little shy around her. Potter was up-and-coming when she played for us, but she’s too big to come back. She’s playing Carnegie Hall and other huge venues now.
I like to say we broke her into the market.
We’ve got about $150,000 in equipment, probably a mile of audio cable, and enough speakers and microphones to fill Elton John’s costume closet. Maybe.
On the Playlist
With up to 10 venues every week, from Miner’s Park on Main Street to Canyons and Deer Valley to Newpark and Peoa—as well as at the Silly Market and Park City Farmers Market, with all locations free of charge—MTM will showcase a mix of local and regional bands across a spectrum of genres. Bring a blanket, a picnic, and a bottle of your favorite beverage, and enjoy the magic of music in the mountains.
For this summer’s lineup, see mountaintownmusic.org.