From Mozart to Oz – Two Upcoming Concerts Showcase the Range of GWU Students’ Musical Talents

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The Gardner-Webb University School of Performing and Visual Arts is pleased to present two upcoming concerts that will put the full range of Gardner-Webb students’ talents on display.  Both are free and open to the public.

First, the GWU Choral Union, along with the Charlotte Civic Orchestra, will perform Mozart’s “Requiem” on Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m in the Dover Theatre.

Sunday’s one-hour performance will feature GWU student soloists Samantha Grant, Brittany Infranco, Kyle Murphy, and Hannah Riener, as well as GWU alumna Rosalee Johnson and faculty member Dr. Cal Robertson.

The Choral Union is made up of Gardner-Webb’s auditioned concert choir and non-auditioned chorale, plus members of the GWU faculty, staff, and surrounding community.

Mozart’s “Requiem” is one of the most performed choral and orchestral pieces ever composed.  It’s notoriety is due both to its stunning musical quality and to its mysterious history. Mozart died while composing the piece, and historians and scholars have argued ever since about how much of it Mozart completed, and how much was written by his student, Franz Xaver Sussmayr.

Since then, several composers have written new concluding touches for “Requiem,” adding to the piece’s collective past.  Dr. Paul Etter, director of choral activities at Gardner-Webb, has chosen to perform the original version, an experience he says the students will never forget.

“Even though there have been others who have tried to improve on what Mozart and his student composed, I felt it important to expose our students to the more traditional version due to its historical significance.  It’s a beautiful work,” said Etter.

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Then on Tuesday, April 24, at 8 p.m. in the Dover Theatre, the GWU Symphonic Band will perform its annual spring concert, featuring a “Wizard of Oz” medley and the world premier of a faculty member’s original composition.

The Symphonic Band is under the direction of Dr. Matt Whitfield, GWU music professor and director of bands.  Whitfield’s original composition “Elegy of Hope” will make its debut at the event.

The concert will also feature guest conductors Mark Cole and Chad Roseboro.  Cole serves as music education coordinator for GWU and will conduct Richard Maltby’s “Hail to the Fleet.”  Cole is the retired conductor of the U.S. Navy Band, and a former music director of the Midshipman Drum and Bugle Corps at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Roseboro is a GWU senior and a graduate of Kings Mountain (N.C.) High School.  Whitfield said, “Chad is the current president of the senior class here at Gardner-Webb and conducts our gospel choir.  He is also a former drum major of the Gardner-Webb marching band.”  Roseboro will conduct “Lauds,” by Ron Nelson.

More information is available about these and other GWU Fine Arts events at 704-406-4448.

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Contributions by communications intern Travis Sherrill.