Music department to host a variety of in-person events, starting with Bandfest

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After a year and a half of exclusively online performances, Cal Poly’s music department is in full swing this fall with a variety of in-person events.

The first in-person event of the year is the Bandfest at 7:30 p.m. on October 30 at the Performing Arts Center. Bandfest will include the Wind Orchestra, the Wind Ensemble and the Mustang Band.

Due to the nature of the pandemic, Bandfest and the events that followed were not easy to plan due to uncertainty about the implication.

“Most of us were on pins and needles because we weren’t sure if some students would come back to our groups after COVID[-19]Said Christopher Woodruff, Assistant Professor and Band Director. “We had to wait until after the auditions, which was the first week of school, to pick our literature and rehearse because we just didn’t know how many musicians we would have.”

Woodruff will conduct the Wind Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble.

The Wind Orchestra will begin the concert with “That Which Binds” by Brian Balmages and “Beyond the Higher Skies” by Robert Sheldon. The Mustang band will end the event with songs from well-known artists and songs the band performed in football matches.

“Attendees can expect to hear a wide variety of music,” said Woodruff. “Music that portrays deep emotional content [to] lively and joyful music. We hope this is contagious music for our audience.

Students also participate in these events, like Katherine Hanson, CEO of Mustang Band and senior in political science.

Hanson said she was excited about the upcoming Bandfest event.

“I always look forward to our performances because we bring all the energy to both the players and the crowd,” said Hanson. “It’s an amazing feeling to play and it makes you feel like you’re connecting with others in a way that you couldn’t otherwise. It’s great to see our audience match our energy when we play.

After Bandfest, the department will host the autumn concert of the Arab music ensemble. The concert, led by ethnomusicologist Kenneth Habib, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on November 6 at the Performing Arts Center.

The ensemble will combine a choir and orchestra performing a variety of precomposed genres, as well as improvisation using the traditional melodic systems of musical creation, according to Habib.

Participants can expect internationally renowned guest artists to perform alongside the group of students.

“The instrumentation will include a variety of native Arabic instruments, as well as adapted instruments, and the show will feature a wonderful dance troupe that has worked closely with the ensemble since its debut 15 years ago,” said said Habib.

The event will also perform muwashshah, an Arabic poetic form and song, and feature Ottoman-era traditions and a traditional vocal piece featuring text by Antara Ibn Shaddad, a 6th century poet.

On November 12, the fall jazz concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.

“I’m so happy to finally be back in front of a live audience and the energy it creates,” said choral program director Scott Glysson.

The event will feature an album that was recorded during the pandemic from the students’ homes.

Tickets for all three events can be purchased from the Performing Arts Center. Tickets will be sold online for $ 10 for students and $ 15 to $ 20 for the general public.


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