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Music enchants Albert Taylor Hall

Music enchants Albert Taylor Hall

Nicholas Sumner

Beauty, played by Juri Tokuda, senior music major, returns and agrees to marry the Beast, played by Justin Peterson, graduate music student, after she ran in fear the first time she met him. Beauty and the Beast was one of three acts performed by the Emporia State Opera in Albert Taylor Hall on April 12-13.

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Spring is a busy time for Emporia State’s music department. Not only did the opera group perform two nights last weekend, but the percussion ensemble will perform today at 7:30 p.m. in Albert Taylor Hall.

Both groups have been prepping for these shows since the start of the semester, and since the end of the year is near, there will be many more concerts from all of the different sections of the music department.

“The performance is called ‘Take That.’ It is a title of one of our pieces and it’s going to be kind of an aggressive concert,” said Tracy Freeze, associate professor of music and head of the percussion ensemble. “It’s classical music with lots of heavy drumming.”

This concert will also feature the Emporia High School percussion group. They perform two pieces. Their group consists of about 16-18 people. While Emporia State’s percussion has a smaller group with nine people, they will perform six songs.

“Our concerts are generally considered ‘full’ concerts. So if you go to a classical symphony, they will be structured to go 45 minutes for one half and have an intermission, and then go another 45 minutes,” Freeze said.

Both the opera group and percussion ensemble are not able to practice in Albert Taylor Hall until the week of the performance. Ashley Feist, music major and part of the percussion ensemble, said that their group was practicing in Albert Taylor Hall until 1 a.m. A lot of the students practice individually, so when they all come together to practice it makes a huge difference, and there always has to be changes made.

“I think that anyone that comes to our concerts is pleasantly surprised because of their preconceived notion of what drums will play will be something that is bombastic but we do also have pretty and melodic, soft instruments as well,” Freeze said.

The opera that has already showed was called “An Evening of Enchantments” that featured three different one act operas.

“We started with ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which was actually a one act opera written in 1924 – not the popular Broadway film and show,” said Penelope Speedie, assistant music professor and head of the opera performance. “Next, we did ‘Sid the Serpent Who Wanted to Sing,’ which is a children’s opera, and then we ended with a soap opera called ‘Gallantry.’”

The opera is much different from the percussion ensemble with preparation because it involves sets and costumes which give it a theatrical environment.

The next act will be the Woodwind Showcase at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22 in Heath Recital Hall.

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Music enchants Albert Taylor Hall