Photo courtesy of Cal Poly music department

The Cal Poly music department will begin its 2016-17 season Saturday, Oct. 29 with the Cal Poly Choir’s fall concert at 8 p.m. in Harman Hall of the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC). The concert kicks off a season full of performances featuring many of Cal Poly’s musical ensembles.

The performance, titled “New Beginnings … New Horizons,” will be a celebration of professor Thomas Davies’ time at Cal Poly; this is his final year as director of choral activities and vocal studies. Davies began his time at Cal Poly in 1983 and received Cal Poly’s Distinguished Teacher Award for 2010-11.

Following this concert on Nov. 4 will be a percussion recital at the PAC, where faculty member John Astaire will perform his first solo. The recital will feature modern works, including Poul Ruders’ “Towards the Precipice,” a piece Astaire called “massively intense.” The show starts at 7:30p.m.

The Arab Music Ensemble fall concert will take the Harman Hall stage the next evening at 8 p.m. Directed by music professor Kenneth Habib, the concert features a program that not only focuses on instrumental music, but also the vocal and dance styles of Arab culture. Professional guest performers will join the group of students, playing music from both composed and improvisational genres.

Bandfest 2016: American Masters will take place Nov. 13 at 3 p.m., where Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra will pay tribute to famous composers Charles Ives and Percy Grainger as well as conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Leonard Bernstein. The concert will feature the Pacific Mustang Marching Band who will play the arrangements performed at Cal Poly football games during the fall football season.

The first weekend of December will be full of shows. Starting Dec. 2 at 8 p.m., the Cal Poly University Jazz Bands will hold its fall jazz concert in Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre.

“A Christmas Celebration” choir concert will be held the following night at 8 p.m. The concert features favorites from Davies’ tenure at Cal Poly. The Cal Poly Brass Ensemble and alumni choir will join the students in this holiday celebration.

The weekend ends on Dec. 4 at 3 p.m. with the Symphony Fall Concert: Rachmaninov and Dvořák. This concert welcomes back pianist W. Terrence Spiller, who will also perform in a solo piano recital on Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

To end fall quarter, accompanist and organist Paul Woodring and music department faculty member Katherine Arthur will perform in a lecture-recital that includes Aaron Copland’s “Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson” on Dec. 10 at 3 p.m.

The season continues in 2017 with Bach Week, a week celebrating the classic work of J.S. Bach through classes and concerts. The week kicks off with Spiller’s piano recital.

2017 highlights

Highlights of 2017 include the Student Piano Recital on Jan. 31 and the Student Instrumental Recital on March 16.

April 7 and 8 welcomes “Pirates of Penzance” performed by the Cal Poly Student Opera Theatre.

A complete list of shows and dates are available and can be found on the music department website.

Prices for each event varies, though some are free to students. Tickets can be purchased at the Cal Poly Ticket office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849).

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