A noteworthy weekend

During the last weekend of February, the Fine Arts Building’s Recital Hall will be filled with a ‘symphony of sounds.’ Symphony of Sounds 2018 is a non-stop musical performance, offering samples of multiple selections of music. Developed 22 years ago, it is the largest musical performance UAA’s Department of Music offers yearly and will hold two performances this year: Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 25 at 4 p.m.

Symphony of Sounds 2018 students and alumni alike. UAA professor in music and one of the organizers this year, Mark Wolbers gave a rough estimate of near 100 musicians performing this year.

“The event is really exciting as a whole. You don’t just stay in any one piece and there’s a lot of variety happening throughout each half,” Wolbers said.

Grant Cochran conducts the University Singers at the 2016 Symphony of Sounds.jpg
Grant Cochran conducts UAA performers at the Symphony of Sounds 2016. This year, Symphony of Sounds 2018 returns to the Fine Arts Building's Recital Hall, Feb. 24 - 25. Photo credit: Phil Hall

The performance is divided into two halves with a silent auction during intermission and after the show. The ticket sales, silent auction proceeds and any donations raised will go to benefit the UAA Excellence in Music Fund, which helps provides scholarships to music students.

“[The shows] are two opportunities to hear the best of what we have to offer at the music department,” Armin Abdihodžic said. “If you haven’t been to our event, check it out, all the money goes to the students so you’re supporting a good cause by showing up.”

Abdihodžic is an assistant professor in music at UAA with a focus in classical guitar and one of the organizers for the performances this year alongside Wolbers, who is also the coordinator for wind and percussion studies and conductor of the wind ensemble.

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The night will give a sample of the work the music department has been working on from musical theatre to opera, from student ensembles like the university singers and guitar ensemble and much more. Auditions are held in the ending of the fall semester for those outside of the ensembles who would like a spot in the program.

Rain Essex, major in vocal performance with a jazz emphasis, will be performing with the choir this year. She and fellow musicians have been hard at work in preparation for the upcoming nights of music.

“I get nervous before shows, but when you’re up there on stage with such fantastic performers and have a great conductor, it’s easy to forget the nerves and just have fun,” Essex said. “Many times in my other classes, I’ll have a student in another field ask my major and tell me ‘oh, that must be easy,’ but I think students in the music department work the hardest to become the best at what they do.”

Symphony of Sounds will have a free, “behind the scenes” preview show, Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 5 – 7 p.m. held in the UAA Bookstore Loft.

Tickets for Saturday and Sunday’s shows are available at ArtsUAA.com, and range from $19.99 to $24.99, depending on seating in the hall.