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School of Music ensembles cap off semester with celebration concert

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“It’s like a flight of wine,” production coordinator and professor Robert Ward said. “We’re offering a flight of musical performances in 90 minutes.”

As the semester draws to an end, the School of Music is preparing for one of its biggest, most anticipated concerts of the year.

The 22nd Annual Music Celebration Concert is the one time during the semester when nearly everyone in the School of Music is performing under one roof, Ward said of the event scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. in Mershon Auditorium.

“We come together as one entity to present something to the public,” Jaz Bluhm, a fourth-year in music education, said.

Every orchestra, major ensemble and several studio chamber ensembles is part of the event’s lineup.

“It’s really a question of who will not be playing,” Ward said. “We’ll be putting all the choirs together for one piece: ‘Sanctus’ from Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘Requiem.’”

The concert will be divided into two halves, each intended to unfold without applause, Ward said. For this collage-style concert, each selection will transition with lights indicating the site of the next performance.

“There’s a visual spectacle as well as a musical one,” Ward said.

Each group of performers will make their way to a different part of the auditorium without the audience being aware of where they’ll be next, he said.

The School of Music’s spokeswoman Tamara Morris agreed that the experience benefits from its presentation.

“You experience this surround sound experience as an audience member,” she said. “The lights come on and go down. It’s a non-stop experience of sights and sounds and different moods and energies.”

The fast-paced concert keeps the performers on their feet, Bluhm said.

“It’s a lot of really intense synchronization,” he said.

Bluhm, who will be performing at the Celebration Concert for his fourth time, will be a part of the Flute Troupe, Symphonic Band and the Men’s Glee Club, among others, he said.

Ashley Miley, a third-year in music education and performance, said this concert gives her a chance to see what everyone has been working on throughout the semester.

“It’s a taste of everything that’s happening in the school,” said Miley, who will be performing in the concert for her third time.

As for the concert’s musical lineup, Morris said it’s always different. The only selection that stays consistent throughout the years is George Frederick Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus, which is the last piece of the evening, she said. There’s a tradition for everyone in the audience to stand during it, while all the choirs and symphonies perform.

The Celebration Concert normally has many friends and family members in attendance, she said.

“It has become a real community favorite for Central Ohio,” she said, adding that it is usually a sellout.

Admission is $20 for the general public and $10 for students, senior citizens, OSU faculty and staff, Alumni Association members and children. Tickets are only available through the Wexner Center for the Arts online or at the front desk.


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