Cal Poly’s Music Department will open Parent and Family Weekend with a musical showcase on Oct. 25.
[follow id = “ArynSanderson”]
Students and families can now kick off Cal Poly’s 2013 Parent and Family Weekend with a bang. The music department is bringing together all of its major performance ensembles for a musical showcase on Friday at 8 p.m. in Harman Hall of the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center.
The Parent and Family Weekend Ensemble Showcase will feature the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble, Cal Poly Choirs, University Jazz Band I, Cal Poly Symphony and Cal Poly Wind Ensemble.
Music Department Chair W. Terrence Spiller, who will be emceeing the event, said the showcase is a great way to bring a diverse range of music to the stage.
“As a showcase, it’s really wonderful because it’s such a broad range of music,” he said. “It’s very neat to have that wide variety of music.”
The showcase is a “way to kick start” students into being performance-ready, he said.
“It’s a really great way to give everybody an early-in-the-year performance goal,” Spiller said.
An overwhelming majority of the ensemble members are not music majors while approximately 10-15 percent of the them are, he said.
The Arab Music Ensemble, directed by Ken Habib, will start off the night.
The ensemble of approximately 35 students will perform four pieces, Habib said.
“In a nutshell, we’re doing some classical music from the Ottoman era and the Andalusia area and ending with a more contemporary piece that has some improvisation,” he said.
Although this is the fourth year the department will host a Parent and Family Weekend Ensemble Showcase, it isn’t often all of the performance ensembles participate in the same show, he said.
“Normally, we each give full concerts, but in this show, we’re sharing the stage, and so that makes it a very different, special show,” he said.
The two choir groups, PolyPhonics and The University Singers, will perform sets, conducted by music professor Thomas Davies. The choirs will finish their portion of the night with a joint number.
Some members of the Arab Music Ensemble and some members from both choirs will also be uniting for a performance at Carnegie Hall in March, Spiller said.
The University Jazz Band I, led by Paul Rinzler, will perform big band swing dance classics and “several generations of jazz,” Spiller said.
The Cal Poly Symphony, directed David Arrivée, will begin the second part of the program, and the symphony’s performance will include selections from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets,” which is “appealing, huge and romantic,” Spiller said.
The Wind Ensemble, directed by Andy McMahan, will close the show. Music senior Andrew Arensman, who will be playing horn in the symphony, will be spotlighted as a guest horn soloist during the Wind Ensemble’s set.
He will be featured in a performance of Reinhold Glière’s Concerto for Horn in B-flat Major. Arensman was first given the piece a year ago and has been working on perfecting it for more than six months, he said.
“It’s one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever played, so I’m really excited,” Arensman said. “It’s a super dramatic piece of music, and it’s got a big build-up. I think the audience will really enjoy it.”
Tickets are $14 and $12, and $12 and $9 for seniors and students.