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Annual gala concert ushers in winter season

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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 Chamber Singers, Women’s Choir, Men’s Choir, Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. The show will be sprinkled with smaller performances — 10 to 15 minutes in length — complementing two larger numbers, which include a concerto and a choir-led performance.

“This is a celebratory event,” says Joan Griffing, chair of the music department. “This is an opportunity for people to come celebrate the arts … and specifically music at EMU.”

Griffing — who will be conducting the orchestra pieces — says that the music department’s isolated location on campus — the first floor of the Lehman Auditorium building — causes it to be overlooked. This concert will allow both students and the general community an opportunity to take advantage of a performance that the department has been practicing months to perfect.

Highlights include Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 4,” which will be performed by new piano faculty member, Dr. Anne Waltner; the performance will also feature the department’s orchestra.

Additionally, the concert will feature classical music from Gustav Holst and Franz Schubert, along with the Beatles song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

“People come from quite a distance to see this show,” says Ken Nafziger, who has been a professor at EMU since 1977. “This is a significant event for our institution.”

Schubert’s “Mass in G Major,” will be the largest performance of the night, which will be performed by the 75 member choir and conducted by Nafziger.

“There will be a wide range of musical styles and musical groups, an eclectic mix of music,” says Griffing. “The concert will have something for everybody.”

Donations collected in lieu of admission; suggested price of $10 per person. Proceeds benefit the music scholarship fund.

For more information about the gala concert, contact the EMU Music Department at 540-432-4225.

Courtesy Daily News Record, Nov. 7, 2013

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