“Sounds of the Season” to ring in the holidays

Draven Jackson

Staff Writer

Troy University’s College of Communication and Fine Arts will present the annual “Sounds of the Season” concert to kick off the holiday season Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Claudia Crosby Theater.

The performance is a collaborative experience involving various performing arts within the CCFA. It will showcase a variety of performers such as the Symphony Band, Collegiate Singers, Troy Theatre Ensemble, Concert Chorale, Frequency, Gospel Choir, Jazz Ensemble, POPulus, an Irish Duo and faculty soloists Robert Gibson performing “Silent Night” on guitar and Christi Amonson in a soprano performance.

The concert is a prism performance, meaning that one selection “flows” into the next without a specific planned pause, except for applause. The songs that the audience will hear during the event are a mixture of traditional holiday favorites, with some surprises.

Some of the traditional holiday pieces being performed by various groups include “A Christmas Festival,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Ave Maria” and “I Pray on Christmas.”

Larry Blocher, the dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, said the groups performing must submit their music early to avoid different ensembles playing the same pieces.

“Each conductor/performer submits performance requests, and we then work together to avoid duplication, incorporate a variety of musical styles and work for contrasts,” Blocher said. “Each group then rehearses independently.”

Blocher said that the “Sounds of the Season” concert is a good way to kick off the holiday season.

“Our annual ‘Sounds of the Season’ performance is a way for our CCFA to help Troy University and our Troy community start the traditional holiday season,” Blocher said.

Madison Smith, a junior vocal music education major from Montgomery, is the soprano section leader for the Concert Chorale and a member of POPulus, although she will be performing with the Concert Chorale only for the “Sounds of the Season” concert. She says she loves the event.

“The Sounds of the Season concert can be a little hectic just because it is such a large concert that showcases every single ensemble in the School of Music as well as the School of Theatre and Dance, so it’s a really hectic time,” Smith said. “But once it all comes together, it’s really cool because it’s just a way for us to celebrate the holidays and just be happy for a night.”

According to Smith, some groups, like the Concert Chorale, choose pieces that they performed at concerts before the “Sound of the Season” nearer to the beginning of the fall semester, allowing them more time to work on it. Others begin preparing a few weeks before the concert, after they have finished with their regular semester performances.

“It’s really impressive with some of these groups because they take a tune that is not easy and prepare it in a couple of weeks and it sounds phenomenal,” Smith said.

The “Sounds of the Season” performance also signals the beginning of the 2016 Middle School SEUS Honor Band weekend. This event includes three honor bands, guest band performances and a guest composer in residence, Larry Clark, who will visit with the honor bands in rehearsal and give clinics to band directors who attend the SEUS clinic.

“The concert is a wonderful educational opportunity for the middle school students,” Blocher said.

Diane Orlofsky, a professor of music and the director of choirs, conducts the Troy University Concert Chorale and the vocal jazz group, Frequency. She said that it’s her job to pick out the music that the choral groups perform.

“I program a piece that would be appropriate for inclusion in the performance that is also part of our regular concert repertoire,” Orlofsky said. “I also oversee other choral needs for the event.”

“The concert is a lovely way for the CCFA to welcome in the holidays,” “Orlofsky said. “The audience can expect a variety of music, something for everyone.”

The “Sounds of the Season” concert is a traditional holiday celebration that is free and open to the public. The production is entitled “Illuminations” and should last one hour.

After the perfromance, there will be a tree-lighting ceremony outside Smith Hall.

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