Spring performance gala promises ‘incredible music’

Jamie Anderson

Jamie Anderson

The Music Department will soon host its final event of the year: the Spring Festival of Music, a series of concerts and performances put on by SDSU’s musicians.

“You get to hear five different concerts of incredible music,” said David Reynolds, head of the music department. “We do about 70 concerts throughout the year and these are the final concerts of the year.”

The first concert consists of Concert Choir, Women’s Choir and Statesmen on April 23 at 7:30 p.m in the Performing Arts Center.

The Concert Choir is the mixed voice choral ensemble at SDSU and ranges from 40-60 voices.

The Women’s Choir is a 130-voice treble ensemble that performs music specifically composed or arranged for female voices and is directed by Laura Diddle-Hildebrandt, associate professor of music.

The SDSU Statesmen are recognized as one of the finest collegiate men’s choruses in the upper Midwest and is open to any male SDSU student.

Both Concert Choir and the Statesmen are led by Steven Grives, director of choral activities.

The second day starts off with Symphonic, Concert and CommUniversity Bands playing at 2:30 p.m.

“The choir and band concerts will probably be full,” said Reynolds, who has been at SDSU for five years. “There is outstanding turnout for the Spring Festival.”

The SDSU Symphonic Band is comprised of about 50 students.The Concert Band has about 60 students representing all colleges at SDSU and is directed James Coull, associate director of bands.

The CommUniversity Band is open to all students and consists mainly of non-music majors and commission members. Both the Symphonic and CommUniversity bands are directed by Eric Peterson, director of bands.

“The Spring Festival is a way to get the whole department involved and then some,” said Teressa Karl, senior administrative assistant in the music department.

The Spring Festival has been going on for at least 12 years, said Connie Lemke, music department secretary who has been at SDSU for that amount of time.

“The concert has stayed about the same size for that whole time,” said Lemke. “A lot of the participants are non-majors and all different colleges are involved.”

The second show on April 24 is the SDSU Civic Symphony and Opera workshop concert at 7:30 p.m.

The SDSU Civic Symphony is a versatile organization where members accompany concerts featuring students and professional artists, perform orchestral repertoire and perform major works in conjunction with SDSU’s choral groups. The Civic Symphony is open to SDSU students and area residents and conducted by John Brawand.

The opera workshop presents staged performances of opera scenes for soloists and chorus and is directed by Emily Wood Toronto, assistant professor of music.

“We put all the concerts together under one banner and it’s very successful,” said Reynolds. “They are all the same weekend so parents can just come and see them all.”

On April 25, the jazz ensembles concert starts at 2:30 p.m. and the chamber ensembles will play at 7:30 p.m. on April 26. There are two jazz ensembles at SDSU and both are directed by Nathan Jorgensen, assistant professor of woodwinds and jazz.

“The most interesting will probably be the chamber ensembles which are smaller groups and give the most variety,” said Reynolds.

Auditions are held for all groups, excluding the CommUniversity Band which rehearses every Thursday night.

“There are quite a few students in more than one of these concerts,” said Reynolds. “All music majors will be on stage at some point.”

Tickets for the Spring Festival of Music are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and free for SDSU students and children under 18. One ticket is good for all five show times.

The music department welcomes all majors into its various groups.

“Seven percent of SDSU students are involved in ensembles in the music department and most of those are non-majors,” said Reynolds. “I would love to see SDSU students stop by the festival.”