The Freed Center for the Performing Arts and Presser Hall’s Snyder Recital Hall have had their bright lights turned on each night, calling attention to the fact that several musical shows are ready to be performed at Ohio Northern University.
As for students this will be the final concert of the academic year with their respective music ensembles, and in combination with the Department of Music, will be providing classmates with several opportunities to alleviate stress in the closing weeks of the spring semester.
New music compiled by students will be presented in the annual Composer’s Workshop on Sunday, April 17 at 6 p.m. in the Snyder Recital Hall. The new compositions will range from solo piano and electronica to musical theater and electro-acoustic chamber music pieces. The concert is free and open to the public.
Meanwhile, a variety of chamber ensembles, including a saxophone quartet, a percussion ensemble, a brass quartet, a flute quartet and a flute choir, will join the ONU Chamber Singers in showcasing new music on Monday, April 18 at 8 p.m. in the Snyder Recital Hall. The Chamber Singers are conducted by Associate Professor Ben Ayling, who is retiring this summer. The concert is free and open to the public.
As for other end-of-the-year performances:
- The ONU Wind Orchestra, directed by Professor Thomas Hunt, presents “Music for the Stage and Screen,” on Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the Freed Center. This show opens the 41st Spring Band Festival.
The concert features arrangements for wind and percussion instruments from the great operas of Verdi, Mascagni and Wagner. In addition, movie fans will recognize orchestra numbers from “Star Wars,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “James Bond,” “Midway” and “Saving Private Ryan.” Festival guest composer and conductor Patrick Burns, whose music has been performed at Carnegie Hall, will conduct his well-known masterwork, “Soundtrack.”
- ONU’s Northern Winds Marching Band will present its concert in the Spring Band Festival on Sunday, April 24 at 4 p.m. in the Freed Center. The 60-member ensemble will perform “Symphonic Suite from Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” by award-winning composer John Williams, among several selections.
The All Ohio Honors Band, with 120 musicians from across the state, will conclude the festival with a show following the Northern Winds Marching Band performance.
- The ONU Jazz Ensemble presents its spring concert on Thursday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Freed Center. The ensemble will present many songs the musicians performed during a recent concert tour to New Orleans, including classics by the Duke Ellington and Count Basie orchestras.
The concert will also feature the ONU student jazz combos, along with local jazz musician Gene Parker.
- The ONU Symphony Orchestra and the University Singers will perform a joint concert on Saturday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Freed Center. Ayling will conduct the University Singers in “Sing Dem Herrn,” a composition by composer Pretorius and arranged by Bowling Green State University Professor Emeritus Wallace DePue. The performance will also feature the world premiere of “For Our World,” a special commissioned work by Joseph M. Martin set in the text by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, which will be performed during the ensemble’s spring national tour.
Music Director Travis Jürgens will conduct the Symphony Orchestra for the second half of the concert, which is titled “Sacred and Secular: Fauré’s Requiem.” The program includes Bizet’s “Carmen Suite No. 2,” led by Assistant Conductor and junior music performance student Jessica Wise, and Faure’s “Requiem, op. 48.” Voice professors Kirsten Osbun-Manley and Lance Ashmore will be featured as soloists during the concert. Also, the Department of Music will remember members of the ONU community who died during the 2015-16 school year.
Tickets for any of these special shows at the Freed Center for the Performing Arts are $5 for ONU students and season tickets for the Spring Band Festival are $5. They can be purchased at the Freed Center box office or through the following link.