An exciting week of band and orchestra performances

Student ensembles perform at Fairchild Theatre and Wharton Center, and feature distinguished guests.

Photo of Musique 21
Musique 21, “Theatre of Music” group with flexible instrumentation performs new works.
Photo of Kevin Sedatole, conductor
MSU Wind Symphony, conducted by Kevin Sedatole
Guest conductor Christopher James Lees returns to the MSU Symphony Orchestra
Violinist Yvonne Lam, MSU assistant professor of violin. Photo by Stephanie-Bassos
Guest composer Omar Thomas

The Michigan State University College of Music presents an exciting lineup of student band and orchestra ensemble performances, with distinguished guests Omar Thomas and conductor Christopher James Lees, including a debut performance by violinist Yvonne Lam, assistant professor of violin, who joined the MSU College of Music faculty this fall.

9/23 Monday 7:30 p.m.
Musique 21   

Fairchild Theatre, MSU Auditorium
Hunter Kopczynski, conductor, 
Michelle Johnson, soprano soloist                     

Tian - Morning Call
Muhly - Motion
Clyne - A Wonderful Day
Muhly - A Hudson Cycle
Schwantner - Sparrows

9/24 Tuesday 7:30 p.m.
Symphony Band                                             

Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center
David Thornton, conductor, Omar Thomas, guest composer

Etezady – Shoutout
Thomas – Of Our New Day Begun
Grainger – Children’s March
Ticheli – Sanctuary                                           
Coleman – Roma                                      

9/26 Thursday 7:30 p.m.
Wind Symphony

Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center
Kevin L. Sedatole, conductor, Omar Thomas, guest composer

Nelson – Rocky Point Holiday    
Specht – Scenes from Home (MSU Composition Contest winner)                             
Sousa – The Gallant Seventh    
Mackey -- Hymn to a Blue Hour                         

Love – Music Dei, donum optimi                      
Thomas – Come Sunday                                                                       

9/27 Friday 8:00 p.m.
Symphony Orchestra

Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center
Christopher James Lees, guest conductor, Yvonne Lam, violin                                                     

Brahms – Symphony No. 2
Barber – Second Essay for Orchestra
Glass – Violin Concerto No. 1

Composer Omar Thomas cannot be confined to one style of music. In his career he has worked extensively in the realms of both jazz and classical. His music moves people; touching on sensitive issues such as mass shootings and LGBT rights. In 2012, Thomas was named the Boston Music Award’s “Jazz Artist of the Year,” and his jazz charts have been awarded numerous times over. Beyond composing, Thomas is a talented educator and arranger, and is currently on faculty in the Music Theory department at The Peabody Institute. 

Returning to the Wharton Center stage this season is conductor Christopher James Lees, resident conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Lees is becoming a widely recognized face in the American conducting scene for his passionate and nuanced orchestral performances. 

Joining the MSU Symphony Orchestra for her first solo performance as an MSU faculty member is Yvonne Lam. Lam previously spent eight years preforming internationally with the acclaimed group Eighth Blackbird, the first group to be featured in MSU’s Entrepreneurial Musical Artist in Residence program.

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