Sweet symphonic sounds

Every year the UAA music department and its
students give the university a special symphony
featuring every style of music from jazz to opera
to hymnal chants. The 13th Symphony of Sounds,
held recently last weekend, was a benchmark
performance at UAA.
The Symphony of Sounds may be a melodious
treat to its listeners, but to the music department,
it is an important fundraiser and an even more
important showcase of the best of UAA’s talent.
This most recent Symphony of Sounds featured
a couple changes to it, however. One change being
the debut performance of UAA’s massive and
powerful organ while the other was the change up
of how the show actually raises money.
In the last 12 symphonies, the fundraising aspect
of it involved the auctioning of a baton at the very
end. Whoever had the highest bid won the baton
and conducted the music students in the UAA fi ght
song.
“I think that the one [symphony] that stands out
most in my mind was. when Chancellor Gorsuch
was still the Chancellor of UAA. We had a
conductor’s auction at the end of the program and I
believe he won the auction with a $1,000 donation
to the endowment,” said Dr. Mark Wolbers, a
professor in the music department.
This year the Symphony of Sounds raised
money with a silent auction of many items
including handcrafted works, donated items and
musical related items such as private music lessons
from the UAA professors. But the funds are all a
means to better the students enrolled in the music
program, and the Symphony of Sounds has the top
priority of showing off the best of the student talent
in UAA.
“There are two kinds of events that are merged
into the program. One is all of the standing
student ensembles in the music department.
So that would be a group like university
singers, university wind ensemble, university
symphonia, the percussion ensemble, the
guitar ensemble, the opera ensemble.”
Wolbers said. “Along with that, the students
competitively audition for solo and chamber
(small independent group) music spots. And
the faculty choose from those offerings the
very best to be included into the Symphony
of Sounds program.
This might sound like any other concert so
far but with students. That assumption is very
wrong, however. The Symphony of Sounds
is a continuous, non-stop fl ow of music with
shifts from one extreme of sounds to the next.
It transfers from jazz to classical and from a
group performance to a solo. A myriad of
special lighting and a no applause policy
(until the end) keeps the music as unbroken
and melodic as possible. Not to mention the
awesome, vibrating tones of UAA’s new
organ that can shake anyone to their core had
the whole arts building ringing melodically.
“As a community of musicians we don’t
work together a lot, but in Symphony of
Sounds we get to get together and be with
each other and hear each other at one time
instead of having to do our own separate
gigs everywhere else,” said JD Chambers, a
student musician.
The Symphony of Sounds is one of the
many student performances offered at UAA.
Although not everyone thinks of classical,
percussion or jazz performances as the
number one thing to attend, they can be a
very enriching experience for all involved,
yes, even the audience. These students need
just as much support as the artists who have
their shows in the Student Union or theatre
productions advertised all over campus.
Next time the music department has
someone playing, take a chance and broaden
your horizons.