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Annual music gala to showcase orchestra, choirs and wind ensemble – Handel’s “Messiah” among the featured selections

The annual gala concert at Eastern Mennonite University is “a kaleidoscope,” says music professor Ken J. Nafziger, who conducts the chamber choir. Around the fixed theme of a musical showcase to kick off the holiday season, a variety ...More

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Students explore musical interests within community

A music student at Eastern Mennonite University might: Sing a classical aria in a voice lesson on Monday mornings; Rehearse works by Mozart and Bono in Chamber Singers on Wednesday afternoons; Perform in the spring musical (Into the Woods this year) on Thursday night; a ...More

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A highlight on Ken J. Nafziger: making music with appreciative Cubans

When President Bill Clinton cracked a window open to Cuba, permitting scholars to apply for education-centered travel permits to Cuba from 1999 to 2003, EMU music professor Ken J. Nafziger seized the opportunity He brushed off warnings on the U.S. State Department’s website about the possibility of “intense physical and electronic surveillance,” which “may involve det ...More

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EMU leads the way in requiring cross-cultural study

Cross-cultural study. It began as a professor’s dream for undergraduates 30 years ago and has become one of the best parts about being an EMU alumnus. “It seems pretty odd to me to think that you could prepare someone to serve and lead in a global context without having some kind of international or other cross-cultural experience,” says Pres ...More

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Annual gala concert ushers in winter season

The Eastern Mennonite University music department will be celebrating the start of the winter season by holding the annual gala concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 16 inside Lehman Auditorium at EMU. The hour-and-a-half-long show will feature a wide variety of music, showcasing the diverse talents of EMU’s music department, including the ...More

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Bach Festival Drew 63 Professional Musicians From 12 States

When violinist Mark Hartman was invited to join the first Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival orchestra 21 years ago, he never thought he’d come back every single year. In fact there was a time when he wasn’t sure he could make a living as a violin player. When this year’s festival orchestra, made up of 63 professional musicians from a dozen state ...More

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Farmer-Doctor Is Bach Festival’s No. 1 Cheerleader

How did a poor farm boy, longtime pediatrician, and master gardener get to be the No. 1 cheerleader for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival? “It’s simple,” says Ed Comer, MD.  “My mother made me take piano lessons when I was little, even though we could hardly afford it.” He has been hooked on classical m ...More

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Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, June 9-16, Shows Bach – and Verdi and Britten – Live On

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach never dies, as will be obvious to those experiencing his music at the 21st Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. For more than two decades, the festival has celebrated the legacy of the 18th-century German composer, usually paired with the legacies of a rotating selection of other composers. This year the ...More

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A Community Celebrates 20 Years of Bach

A German Bach specialist once observed that the music of Johann Sebastian Bach can be played successfully on modern or on period instruments, “but what you can’t recreate is the audience of the time.” Ken J. Nafziger, artistic director and conductor for the Shenandoah Valley Bach Fes ...More

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Christmas Concert Shines Light on Mary

The Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) Chamber Singers will usher in the Christmas season with a concert focused on Mary, Jesus’ mother, Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m., in Martin Chapel. Directed by Ken J. Nafziger, professor of music at EMU, the Chamber Singers will blend ...More