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Ohio State School of Music hails Halloween spirit with ‘HalleBOOia!’ concert

Tim Kubick / For The Lantern

Ohio State’s School of Music incorporated more than instruments into its performance Friday. It collaborated with the Hulk, “South Park” and a two-headed director to give its audience a slight scare.  

The School of Music held its 19th annual Halloween concert “HalleBOOia!” Friday in Weigel Hall Auditorium.

“We never have Weigel this packed,” said Daniel Kozlowski, a graduate student in music education.

Weigel, which has an 800-person capacity, appeared full Friday night, with some of the audience in costumes.

Chatter filled the auditorium as the audience settled in. The house lights dimmed, but no one was onstage. A rotating wall panel opened, and out wobbled a sturdy, tipsy German woman to welcome the audience to Oktoberfest. Then came the OSU Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, wearing Halloween costumes, directed by the Hulk. Halfway through the piece, the Hulk sat down and was replaced by a character with a second head growing on his shoulder, who conducted the horns through a rendition of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”

For some attendees, the directors were most entertaining.

“It was cool to see the directors dressed up. They were really into it,” said Lee Lowry, mother of performer David Lowry. “I saw gray hair under some of those masks.”

The horn performance was accompanied by the snares, but it appeared no one was playing the drums. The snares’ vibration waxed and waned with the volume of the horns, and as the horns left the stage, a devil came out and silenced the snares.

Next came a collection of marionettes, directed by a puppet-master to play Charles Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette,” followed by a “South Park” saxophone quartet that played George Kirck’s “Resultants.” Four saxophones droned aimlessly, provoking some laughs from the audience, but not as many as when the fraulein from the start sneaked onstage and stabbed Kenny. The other three continued playing, only noticing the dead Kenny when they took their bows. Stan shouted, “Oh my God! They killed Kenny!”

As the remaining three members of the saxophone quartet dragged their deceased member offstage, the audience applauded the act and the two stagehands setting up for the next act. The lights flickered dramatically a few times, then went out completely.

“It’s good to be able to do stuff like this, because it’s a good stress relief,” Kozlowski said. “Music is really high stress, so when we get to goof around on stage in costumes for a couple hours, it’s really good, very therapeutic.”

Late in the concert, several audience members stood up, hauling out sheet music and flutes. Directed by Professor Katherine Jones, the OSU Flute Troupe performed a spoken word and flute piece called “Fireflies” to the winking of several dozen flashlights. It finished on an off note, as one performer dropped his line.

“The synchronous flashing of huge members,” he said, and broke out laughing. The audience joined in with laughter, and “Fireflies” wrapped up shortly afterwards.

The OSU Cello Orchestra took the stage to perform “A Simpsons’ Overture.” All but one performer, who wore a unicorn head mask, dressed in black suits, sunglasses and fedoras.

The Cello Orchestra was followed by the OSU Horn Choir with its rendition of the “Mission Impossible” theme song, and then by the Women’s Glee Club, which had been occupying the entire left bank of seats in the auditorium. Lecturer Richard Schnipke, who was dressed in a feathery pink jacket, directed the singers through “O Frondens Virga” and “Hexenlied” before making way for the toilet-paper-bedecked mummies of the OSU Double Bass Ensemble and their performance of “Renegade Mummies.”

Two Secret Service agents also took the stage, preparing the way for a politician and his wife to take up percussion instruments for “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.” They were quickly joined by a large banana playing a glockenspiel and five dancing fairies, who blended in pop culture tunes such as Psy’s “Gangnam Style” and LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” with the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky classic.

“I was supposed to be a fairy,” said Kozlowski, who was dressed as the banana. “But I didn’t really have a fairy outfit, so I just decided to go with the banana from last year as a sort of portmanteau.”

Percussionist Shane Mathews, a fourth-year in music education, played one of the politicians.

“We really just wanted to do a popular culture show,” Mathews said.

The OSU Percussion Ensemble was followed by Roman gladiator Matt Ebright, who acted the role of Brutus, killing Caesar before the Roman Senate before performing a mix of Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” and the “Harry Potter” theme song.

“I love this concert. It brings the whole School of Music together,” said Ebright, a School of Music teaching assistant who performs piano accompaniment. “But it’s also a chance to have some fun, obviously. I started off as a rock piano player, so I get a chance to show off my talents and I don’t often get to do that.”

Some students said the theatrics and costumes were the best part of the show.

“I loved the costume thing. I guess normally those orchestra things are sit-down and formal and you’re quiet. This was more like a college-like atmosphere, like in a stadium, where you get to cheer. It’s encouraged to laugh,” said Nick Carr, a third-year in biology. “It was cool because it was comedy and concert together.”

Women’s choir group Ladies First helped round out the show, singing “Chili Con Carne” while brewing a pot of stew with ingredients such as peppers, beer, a rat, eyeballs, a cat, a Men’s Glee Club jacket and a stuffed Michigan mascot. The Bassooni Platooni Lampooni followed Ladies First with a rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and men’s choir group The Statesmen performed a medley of Queen music and the Traditional New Orleans/Swing Combo with “St. James Infirmary Blues” to close the night.

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