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2013 Fall Music Concert Series Preview

November 6, 2013

Naturally Sharp preforming 

The Music Program invites you to attend an exciting week of free and open-to-the-public concerts crafted for audiences of all tastes – from lovers of Beethoven to fans of The Beatles. Our Fall Concert Series begins Tuesday, Dec. 3 and continues until Sunday, Dec. 8, featuring ensembles of talented Drexel students from all majors.

Highlights of the Concert Series include: the debut of Maestro Rosalind Erwin conducting the University Orchestra as they present Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony;” holiday themes from different cultures including American, Old English, Middle Eastern and African songs and melodies (All-College Choir); Manhattan Transfer-styled vocals (Jazz Ensemble); energetically performed Psalms (Gospel Choir); Leonard Bernstein’s famous Chichester Psalms (University Chorus); a powerful performance of “An American Celebration” by the Concert Band; songs of The Beatles (Rock Ensemble); and compositions by Stevie Wonder and Joe Henderson (Fusion Band).

The week kicks off with our Rock Ensemble and Fusion Band. On Dec. 3, the two ensembles will join together to present an evening of fun and familiar works at 7:30 p.m. in the Mandell Theater (33rd & Chestnut Streets, Philadelphia). Music  Professor Joe Napoli will direct the Rock Ensemble in performing music from The Beatles’ career , with selections highlighting the band’s growth as songwriters and musicians. The night will continue with a performance by the Fusion Band, directed by Music Professor Lynn Riley. “The concert will have an international twist, featuring jazz standards reworked in musical styles like Brazilian Samba Reggae, Afro-Cuban 6/8 and Salsa, as well as some classic Stevie Wonder thrown in for good measure,” says Riley. 

Dr. George Starks will lead the Jazz Orchestra in presenting music of masters from Louis Armstrong to Ornette Coleman on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. in the Mandell Theater. Several unique works of the evening include a piece by the late PBS children’s TV show host Fred Rogers, “Won’t you Be My Neighbor? (It's A Beautiful Day In This Neighborhood),” as well as Jazztet pieces from “Blues and the Abstract Truth.”

The University Orchestra and All-College Choir concert will take place Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Drexel’s Main Auditorium (3141 Chestnut St, Philadelphia), marking the debut of the Orchestra’s new conductor Rosalind Erwin. Our new Maestro will conduct powerful music including Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and George Bizet’s infamous “Orchestral Suite No. 1” from the opera Carmen. The All-College Choir will then present a concert of holiday songs from the United States, England, The Middle East and Africa under the direction of Music Professor Scott Bacon. “The All-College Choir will be performing a concert of Holiday music from many different cultures and of many different styles,” says Bacon. “ It will be a concert that will be both fun to perform for the singers and fun to listen to by the audience.”

On Saturday, Dec. 7th, Drexel’s vocal jazz ensemble Naturally Sharp will perform selections from the 1920s to the present at 3 p.m. in the Mandell Theater. The ensemble says that the afternoon program includes “anything that swings” – exciting vocal jazz pieces drawn from radio, film and stage. Later that evening, the Gospel Choir will present their annual “Singing from the Psalms” concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Mandell Theater. Under the direction of Reverend Gregory Ross, the program features traditional and contemporary gospel selections, including several of Ross’ own original pieces, as well as works by Malcolm Williams, Hezekiah Walker, Dr. Kevin Carter and Earl Bynum. 

The final day of the Fall Term Concert Series (Sunday, Dec. 8) includes two performances. At 3 p.m., Dr. Steven Powell will lead the University Chorus and Chamber Singers in a performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” at Drexel’s Main Auditorium, accompanied by keyboard, harp and percussion. “It's always exciting to perform a work with the combination of high energy and beauty of the Chichester Psalms,” says Dr. Powell. The Choir will also perform a selection of motets, spirituals and music of the Renaissance period, including Norman Dello Joio’s “A Jubilant Song,” Randall Thompson’s “Alleluia,” Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium,” and other music by Thomas Morley, Orlando di Lasso, Thomas Greaves, John Bennet.

At 7 p.m. that evening in the Mandell Theater, Music professor Dr. Wesley Broadnax takes to the podium to direct our Concert Band’s presentation of “An American Celebration” – a performance of American classics celebrating the rich history of our country. The evening includes a variety of works from Frank Ticheli’s “An American Elegy.” to Charles Ives’ “Variations on America,” and John Williams’ “The Cowboys.”

For more details on our Fall Concert Series performances, call 215-895-ARTS.