Lindsey Steinbrunner Aural Skills April 6, 2011 Celebration of the Arts This is the first time I have attended Celebration of the Arts. It was more elaborate and showcased a wider variety of ensembles than I had imagined. I did not know there were going to be performances from the theater department and the dance department. I thought it was going to strictly be performances from the music department. There were two proctors of the event: Dr. Burt Saidel and Mrs. Georgie Woessner. They were community members chosen by the Celebration of the Arts committee who alternated speaking between each performance. Dr. Saidel had funny words or catchphrases to describe each performance. Some of these catchphrases included “OMG,” “Phat,” and “Rad.” He kept me anticipating his next descriptive word after the performances. On many occasions, he had the audience, myself included, rolling with laughter. Mrs. Woessner and Dr. Saidel kept the downtime between performances entertaining, which helped move the concert along and eliminated the awkward silence while the next ensemble prepared to go onstage. Before the main performances, there were a few ensembles that performed outside the theater. These performances were by the Javanese Gamelan, First Flight Saxophone Quartet, the Early Music Ensemble, and members of the Piano Ensemble. Out of these performances, I only saw a few of the piano ensemble duets. Not many people watched the piano ensembles perform; they were basically background music. These performances were a good preparation for the following performances on the main stage. There were thirteen different ensembles that performed on the main stage at the Celebration of the Arts. All of the ensembles were either University of Dayton ensembles or ensembles that worked alongside with UD. Before Celebration of the Arts, I had not seen over half of the ensembles perform. The University of Dayton Horn Choir started the evening and was followed by the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Both of these ensembles were much larger than I had imagined, and I really enjoyed the pieces they performed. The World Music Choir was next and performed two pieces. I am always amazed at the languages they sing in. I’ve never heard anyone speak Arabic and the only African language I have experience with is Swahili. They make it look so easy to sing in these less familiar languages. Next, the UD Dance Ensemble performed to a piece sang by Ebony Heritage Singers. Dancing to live music gave a while new aspect to the performance. It kept me interested because I could either look at the dancers or look at the choir. Then the UD Opera Workshop performed two selections: “Tonight” from West Side Story and “Hard Knock Life” from Annie. The singers all seemed to be enjoying themselves onstage, which translated into the audience. Their enthusiasm made me enjoy the performance even more. The UD Chorale performed two selections and the UD Orchestra accompanied one of the pieces. I had already heard both of these pieces, but hearing them in such a large venue completely changed the sound. It was a much more vibrant and full sound. The next performance, by the UD Drumline was one of my favorites of the night. The piece they performed was a lot of fun. One of the best aspects of the performance was the serious faces of all those in the ensemble as they were dancing and playing onstage! The UD Grace Note Quartet accompanied the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company for the next performance. The dancers imitated the Mozart piece being played, so a lot of the dancing was done in a canon style. The dancing was beautiful. Next, two members of the UD Theatre performed a short excerpt from The Diviners. The scene was very cute and made me want to see the performance. It was a small enough excerpt to keep me wondering what would happen next in the play, but long enough that I understood the storyline. The final pieces of the night were by the Dayton Jazz Ensemble. For the final piece, the Ebony Heritage Singers sang alongside them. This piece was amazing! As an audience member, I could feel the energy emanating from the stage. Mixing the Dayton Jazz Ensemble with the Ebony Heritage Singers created a loud, explosive sound. And the two soloists, Alexandra Smith and Cindy Briscoe, helped fuel the energy on stage. My overall experience at Celebration of the Arts was positive. Even though it was a twohour concert, the time went by very fast. I found myself wanting to dance during some of the performances and wanting to sing along with others. I was glad that I attended this night of music.