The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Non-stop holiday concert a first

This holiday season will kick off with a special gift from the department of music – the first ever Holiday Collage Concert.

“This is the first concert of its kind at Eastern,” said Milton Allen, director of bands and instrumental division director.

The performance will be at 4 p.m. Sunday in McAfee’s South Gym and will not be a typical one.

Instead of breaks between songs for applause, each performance will transition into the next. This means that the music will be non-stop, and there will be no applause until the end of the concert.

“Each performance transitions into the next one, weaving a nonstop musical tapestry and from different locations in the performance venue,” Allen said. “In fact, the audience will be participating at points, too.”

The musical selections are taken from traditional holiday music, as well as classical and popular songs.

“This concert brings together all performance areas and major ensembles of the department of music in a single performance setting,” Allen said.

The concert will showcase groups from all over the music department, including the Jazz Ensemble, the Wind Symphony, University Mixed Chorus, Concert Choir, Percussion Ensemble and smaller chamber groups. The ensembles are comprised of students, both undergraduate and graduate, as well as majors, non-majors, faculty and alumni.

Each ensemble works at a different pace.

“Some rehearsals – mainly for the large groups – occur during regular classes,” Allen said.

Tommy Fulton, a sophomore music education major, said there have been some challenges with preparing for the concert.

“The biggest challenge is that we are really busy getting ready for a high school honor band and so we have to balance the Collage rehearsals with the honor band rehearsals,” Fulton said.

Fulton is involved in many groups on Eastern’s campus, including the Panther Marching Band, as the mellophone section leader, the Eastern Symphony Orchestra and Eastern’s Wind Symphony.

Fulton will be performing with the wind symphony for the songs, “Stille Nacht” by Chip Davis and “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

“I have always loved ‘Sleigh Ride,'” Fulton said. “In fact, I have never played in a Christmas concert without ‘Sleigh Ride’ in the playlist.”

The concert was allowed only a limited time for preparation because of other scheduling demands.

“We have both been knee-deep in concerts as of late,” Allen said referring to professor, Richard Rossi, director of orchestral and choral activities, and himself.

“Many of the chamber groups are rehearsed on students’ own time. The demand on each group is small – for example, only having to prepare one piece,” Allen said.

The music department hopes that the concert will have a large turnout.

“Since this is the first concert of its kind at Eastern, it is our hope that everyone will come and catch some holiday spirit,” Allen said.

Fulton hopes that more people will attend this concert than those previous. He said the numbers for the audiences have been down recently due to poor publicity and incorrect information.

“I am really interested to hear all of the other ensembles from the department of music, especially the percussion ensemble,” Fulton said.

    Non-stop holiday concert a first

    Non-stop holiday concert a first

    Members of the string section practice for a performance. The Holiday Collage Concert will be at 4 p.m. Sunday. Robbie Wroblewski/On the Verge


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