University Orchestras combine to kick off Halloween celebration

Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 3:33pm

There is something about a live concert that is superior to the canned feel of any other form of music. Unlike recorded music, a live performance can never be repeated in the same way. This feeling is exemplified by the performances from the University’s orchestras. The University is home to one of the top conducting programs in the United States and the conductors and orchestras hold true to this title. Each University Orchestra performance is unique and special in its own fashion, presenting beautiful music from one of the greatest University orchestras in the country.

The experience of watching the University orchestras perform is unlike any other, given that they include fellow students who are also some of the nation’s best orchestral musicians.

This coming Sun. at Hill Auditorium, the University Philharmonia, in conjunction with three-fifths of the University Symphony Orchestra, will present their 41st annual Halloween Concert.

The University Orchestras’s Halloween Concert is unique to other performances in that in addition to orchestral music, the group performs skits and dances, and they give out candy during classical pieces. Additionally, the entire orchestra and its conductors perform in full costume. The audience is encouraged to attend in costume as well.

The Halloween Concert is a University Orchestra tradition, having been initiated by conductor Gustav Meyer in 1977. Each iteration has a secondary theme. This year, the theme is “Michigan Sports,” as the University’s football team is doing immensely well. The theme will be present in some of the chosen costumes as well as the pieces selected to be played.

Historically, the Halloween Concert has been a medium used to connect students to the music and to one another. Given that the concert is set for the afternoon of Oct. 28, it serves as the perfect opportunity to kick off the Halloween celebration.

“(The Halloween Concert) not only connects musicians with the audience, but different parts of the audience with each other — students and community,” conductor Kenneth Kiesler said in an interview with The Daily about the function of the concert’s tradition.

Tal Benatar will conduct the National Anthem, Daniel Brotman will conduct “Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 Movement 2,” Regulo Stabilito will conduct de Falla's “Finale from 3 Cornered Hat Suite,” Charlotte Politi will conduct “La Valse” by Ravel, Nathan Bieber will conduct “March to the Scaffold” from “Symphonie Fantastique” by Berlioz, Rotem Weinberg will conduct “Intermezzo” from the opera “Manon Lescaut,” Elias Miller will conduct “Dance of the Seven Veils” from Richard Strauss’s opera “Salome” and Chelsea Gallo will conduct “Finale” from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.”

To follow the theme of “Michigan Sports,” Jerry Bilik’s piece “Variations on Hail to the Victors” will return to Hill Auditorium after its success during the University Symphony Orchestra’s opening performance. The orchestra will end with the traditional Halloween Concert encore of the theme from “Ghostbusters.” The conductors will all be dancing on stage, in costume along with the rest of the orchestra.

“We chose this music because it’s exciting, colorful, thrilling, dramatic, entertaining music,” Kiesler explained. “(It’s) great music, music that we love to do and love to play and that we know the audience will really enjoy.”

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“University Orchestras Halloween Concert”

Oct. 28, 2018 4:30 p.m.

Hill Auditorium

$8-12