PSH School of Humanities-Music Program “The Tunes of Our Times: 1966-2016” (50th Anniversary Event) CONCERT REVIEW

April 28, 2017

April 20, 2017

 

Presented two nights in a row, on Thursday and Friday: April 20-21 at 7pm, The Penn State Harrisburg Chamber Singers, Campus Choir, and Concert Band performed passionately, as always. The Fall play and Spring ’18 musical were both announced, as well as the listing of the four Standard Music courses (MUSIC 76, 82, 88, & 104) including the newly offered, “Chamber Orchestra (arg18@psu.edu), MUSIC 76: Tuesdays 3:05-5:05pm. Additionally, a new theatre minor (mse19@psu.edu) is being offered at PSH. Anxiously anticipated as well is a Jazz Ensemble (jeg5122@psu.edu) beginning THIS FALL!

 

Trans-traveling upon the dream train of talented transposition of timeless tunes tantalized the listeners lobes impressively as the Program played powerfully to a Full House on Thursday night! Directed by Adam Gustafson and Jill Graybill, with Lighting and Sound by Matthew Mitra, the production began with classics like Lean On Me (1972, Withers/Anders/Davis), Proud Mary (1968, Fogerty/Shaw), Take a Chance On Me (1977, ABBA/Kerr), and quantum-leaped forward to Beautiful (2002, Perry/Huff), and Radioactive (2012, Imagine Dragons/Brymer). Following the Campus Choir, the Chamber Singers continued our immemorial journey through “The Tunes of Our Times” with classics like, Higher and Higher (1967), Bridge Over Troubled Water (1969-70), and Don’t Stop Believin’ (1981). Smoothy sending sounds into our Tardis-ears, we were transported through Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You (‘73/’92) all the way to Halo (2009, Knowles/Gustafson), and the extremely energetic and enthusiastically fun Some Nights (2012, FUN). Truly these talented university singers produced poetic material projecting all their efforts and hard work!

 

Following the choirs, after a ten minute intermission, was the PSH Concert Band who as usual, ionically charged their audience with the colorful sounds of their talented and engaged instruments. We were freely force-shuffled into their time machine by the Sax Trio’s presentation of Lollipop (‘58/’61). Serving several traditional favorites, Jill conducted pieces spanning West Side Story, to a Blues Brothers Revue (Arr. Bocook). Traditionally, the PSH Music Program presents a piece with the band and choirs performing together. This semester their cleverly cool choice was the Penn State University Alma Mater, during which alumni choir members joined the performance, and additionally audience attendees and university alumni were encouraged to join in song. What a beautiful artistic feat to have so many talented folks in one space the Penn State Harrisburg NEW Student Enrichment Center (SEC) Theatre!

 

The School of Humanities really brought the “right stuff” to the stage that evening! Not one head was unturned, nor one ear un-curled! Heads bobbed, feet tapped, and knees were slapped as all hands clapped. Audience members of all ages were on the edge of their seats enjoying enthusiastic, reverberating resonation of artistic audio-synopsis of Voice and Instrumental music. Students and faculty of Penn State Harrisburg really have a lot going on within the Music and Theatre Program and expressed earnestly executed engagement of all their hard labor and devotion to the craft this semester! Congratulations on another creative concert production by Adam and Jill’s wonderfully talented students, showing how beneficial the interdisciplinary, collaborative, and contemplative sciences of the Humanities are to communities and societies. STEM studies must unite with Art and promote STEAM studies!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The phenomenological display served to ignite imaginations, inspiring immemorial insight into initiate invitation to voyage on the cogito of the dreamer! Bravo, Encore, and Looking forward to the next concert in the fall! At The Paragon Journal, and the Harrisburg Campus School of Humanities, WE ARE PENN STATE!!! ----Joshua Gerst, The Martian Chronicle

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