The annual “gala concert” is the music program’s signature event, packing out Lehman Auditorium. "This is the most combined effort of the music program. It's special to have this many forces in one performance... in one place" says James Richardson, acting chair of music at EMU. Photo by Jon Styer.

Musical Forces Combine in Annual Gala Concert

The annual celebration of the winter holiday season happens on Nov. 10, at 7 p.m., as the EMU music program presents its annual gala concert in Lehman Auditorium.

For EMU students, the chance to perform in front of their peers and professors is something they “cherish.”

EMU Chamber Singers vocal ensemble
The EMU Chamber Singers are just one of the ensembles that will perform at the gala concert.

“My professors have made my studies meaningful in the way that they have truly invested in me as a student,” said Kelley Schroder, a senior music education major from Leesburg, Va.

“They see my needs and work with me to help me grow as a musician and future educator.”

Number of musical forces share the stage

The concert, to be conducted by longtime EMU music professor Ken Nafziger, will feature a number of student and community ensembles, including:

EMU professor of music Ken J. Nafziger
Professor Ken J. Nafziger will conduct the music gala concert.
  • Chamber Singers
  • ChoirsWithoutBorders
  • EMU Chamber Orchestra
  • two piano trios (piano, violin, cello)
  • several vocal soloists

“This is the most combined effort of the music program. It’s special to have this many forces in one performance… in one place” says James Richardson, acting chair of music at EMU. Richardson, who teaches voice and conducts ChoirWithoutBorders, also coached one of the piano trios for Saturday’s event. He will perform as a soloist as well.

EMU assistant professor of music James Richardson
Professor James Richardson will perform as a vocal soloist Saturday evening.

The gala concert will feature pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn, 1732-1809, often referred to as the “Father of the Symphony” and considered one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period.

Student performances will include an array of Scottish songs (soprano, violin, cello and piano). The EMU Chamber Orchestra will perform symphony “No. 88.” The combined choirs, soloists and orchestras will perform “Mass No. 9 in D Minor, the Lord Nelson Mass.

Exciting performance opportunity for music majors and others

Schroder said she is looking forward to the music department coming together to celebrate the season.

“We all come from different performing groups but for this one event we do every year we come together as one large group and make wonderful music,” said Schroder.

Chloe Raber, a sophomore music and mathematics major from Dalton, Ohio agreed, adding, “I am in both choir and orchestra this semester, so I have gotten to know both the choral and orchestral parts of the Haydn mass, and I am looking forward to hearing how they come together.”

Admission and more information

Admission to the concert is free, but a $10 donation is suggested to benefit the music department student scholarship fund. For more information contact the music department at 540-432-4225 or email