Upcoming instrumental concert to feature classic pieces

Oct 23, 2018

The Newman University instrumental ensemble will present its Fall Classics Concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, in the De Mattias Fine Arts Center Performance Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

The fall concert is set to feature many classics that the audience will recognize and enjoy from a variety of genres and styles of music.

Music performed will include a piece by John Phillip Sousa, Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette,” some pieces featuring string instruments and “Memory” from Cats.

Cindy Thompson, instrument ensemble director, said the Newman ensemble is unique because of the variety of instruments it includes. She added that often times, she has to write parts for some of the pieces they perform.

“Nothing exists for this ensemble,” explained Thompson. “I have two pieces for flex band and they’re usually five-part with percussion, but I have a piano player, and it almost never happens that that is included. Sometimes I have to write parts, take things out of different ones. I have to do pieces for the ensemble I have, so sometimes, we just have to improvise.”

The ensemble students meet twice each week for rehearsals and work hard to learn a large amount of music in such a little span of time.

“It’s a lot of music, so we usually sight-read a little at the beginning of the semester, but then we dive right in,” said Thompson. “I usually keep them all together, so if I have pieces that not everyone plays, I try to do those at either the beginning or end. I try to make the rehearsal as efficient as I possibly can.”

Thompson said that many concerts include guest artists when the need arises.

“Since there are times when a piece includes an important instrumental part and we just don’t have someone that plays that instrument, I will occasionally invite guest artists. I have a friend that occasionally plays if we need him, and we have subs now and then.”

The fall concert will feature guest soloist Taylore Rose, a senior at Newman and a Troubadors member who will lend her vocal talent to the jazz piece “Straighten Up and Fly Right.”

“I’m excited to have Taylore join us and to showcase another very talented student,” added Thompson.

The ensemble performs two concerts per academic year with the 2019 spring concert scheduled for April 14. Thompson said the ensemble will also do the opening set of the Christmas Chorale concert on Dec. 2.

“I’m very excited for this fall concert. This will be a really good concert — we have a very talented group performing.”