Music celebrates 50th Anniversary with special concert in Grandville

Henry Duitman
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Henry Duitman
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More than 200 vocal and instrumental performers from the Grand Valley State University Department of Music will present a special concert to celebrate 50 years of musical excellence in West Michigan.

The Music Department 50th Anniversary Celebration, on Wednesday, April 20, at 8 p.m. will be held at the Grandville High School Auditorium, 4700 Canal Avenue SW, Grandville. The concert is open to the public with free admission. All alumni, parents and other supporters are especially encouraged to attend and be recognized.

“We needed to find an off-campus venue to accommodate the large number of performers that will be on stage together,” said Henry Duitman, who directs the 65-member Symphony Orchestra. They will be joined on stage by the Symphonic Wind Ensemble conducted by Barry Martin, and a massed chorus consisting of four of the university’s vocal ensembles, conducted by Director of Choral Activities Ellen Pool, with John Martin and Janice Dudley.

Winners of Grand Valley’s 2011 Concerto Competition, Michelle Kozachik and Kelly VanderMolen will demonstrate their exceptional musical talent performing virtuoso solos with the ensembles. Kozachik, a senior music education major from Kentwood, will perform the first and second movements of the demanding Concerto for Saxophone by Ingolf Dahl with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. VanderMolen, a senior music performance major from Grand Rapids, will be accompanied by the Symphony Orchestra as she performs the lushly romantic first movement of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto.

The concert will also include works by Bernstein, Barber, Kabalevsky, Nielsen, Persichetti and the popular Polovetsian Dances by Alexander Borodin, which will be performed by the combined forces of the 150-voice Massed Chorus and the Symphony Orchestra. The Symphonic Wind Ensemble will perform works by Bernstein and Sousa, among other selections. The entire concert will be performed in about 90 minutes.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at (616) 331-3484.