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

Concert provides cultural experiences

The thumping of drums greeted audience members as they entered the theater to enjoy Friday’s Multi-Cultural Concert.

Jamie Ryan, the director of the percussion ensemble, along with Matt Black, a senior music major, and Patrick Rheingruber, a music graduate student, all sat outside of the Dvorak Concert Hall and played drums while guests entered the theater.

The concert started soon after with a traditional Afro-Cuban piece performed by the men of the Concert Choir and the University Mixed Chorus, along with the Percussion Ensemble. They performed Afro-Cuban music throughout the concert Friday night.

Ryan said he made sure to show the respect that the music deserved by having his group dressed in all white during the performance. He said the first time he attended a similar performance he made the mistake of wearing a jean jacket.

Ryan said because the ensemble is not the originator of the music they have to show respect to the creators.

Andy Baldwin, a music major, started the nights performance with the opening in the song Elegua.

“The very first piece we played was a tribute to Elegua, which is one of the gods that represents this kind of music,” Baldwin said. “So from a certain aspect, if you screw the song up, then you’re going to have a bad concert because the gods won’t let you do that well. It’s kind of nerve racking, but also really exciting at the same time.”

Baldwin said every musician did not exactly have a firm belief in the gods’ power over their music, but rather understood the background information and legends about the music out of respect for the musicians who had come before them.

Baldwin, like the rest of the percussion ensemble, joined in on the singing throughout the concert. This was part of Percussion Ensemble’s understanding of the music. Ryan said a musician can only understand the music well if they are internalizing the tunes and getting to know the whole piece.

“It’s just part of the gig,” Ryan said. “In order to be a good drummer you have to know the tunes your playing. Whether it’s Beethoven or the Beatles, it’s really part of the game.”

The University Mixed Chorus and the Concert Choir also performed pieces of their own. The chorus performed music from Israel, Brazil and American black gospel and slave spirituals. One song they performed, a slave spiritual titled ‘Wade in the Water,’ and featured several soloists from the choir. Janet McCumber directed the University Mixed Chorus.

Eric Fitts, a junior music major, attended the show. He said he attends as many shows as he can because he is a music major.

“The only thing that could make the concert better is free pizza,” Fitts said.

This was Sergei Pavlov’s last performance as Concert Choir director.

“It’s great to put together music from so many different cultures because it’s something important for students to have exposure to,” Pavlov said.

Pavlov dedicated his choir’s first performance to his wife, and plans to leave town with her on Monday to head back his native country of Bulgaria.

Zach White can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].

Concert provides cultural experiences

Concert provides cultural experiences

Music majors Andy Baldwin (left) and Blake Akers (right) sing music from the Bantu during Friday nights Multi-Cultural Concert in the Dvorak Concert Hall in the Doudna Fine Arts Center. (Zachary White


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