Musical Performances at UCF Celebrates the Arts to Feature Variety of Tastes

From Norway to Mexico to India and beyond, choruses at the 2nd annual UCF Celebrates the Arts festival in April will usher listeners on a musical trip around the globe.

The free April 8-16 festival at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will feature UCF’s three choruses in addition to a variety of other performances ranging from big band to orchestra to percussion to collaborations with internationally known composers and conductors. More than 1,000 university students and 100 faculty members will be involved in the festival.

At 7:30 p.m. April 10, the choruses will perform a program built around Langston Hughes’ poem I Dream a World. The evening will feature “music other than the western classical art tradition, music in many languages and from many cultures, contexts and traditions,” said music professor David Brunner and UCF’s director of choral activities.

The 140 singers from the Women’s Chorus, University Chorus and Chamber Singers will bounce from lullaby to folksong to raga to gospel. There’s even a little country & western on the program, with the 1961 Marty Robbins songEl Paso.

“We think this is an interesting and unusual program that should appeal to many people, including those who might not normally attend a ‘classical’ or ‘choral’ concert,” Brunner said.

Earlier in the day, UCF’s Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band each will present concerts – with surprise guests.

About 100 students make up the two groups, and junior music major Andrew Martin on clarinet will be featured soloist. Martin is a winner of this year’s UCF concerto-aria competition.

Scott C. Tobias, UCF’s director of bands, said the festival will include selections by Camille Saint-Saens, John Mackey, Victor Babin and others.

For a complete schedule of events for UCF Celebrates the Arts, including Orange County school band and choral workshops and performances, go to http://arts.cah.ucf.edu/. Here are some of the other festival performances to be offered:

April 8 – Building Bridges, a demonstration of how music affects the minds of Alzheimer patients. This program is a collaboration with the Alive Inside Foundation.

April 9 – Composer Hans Zimmer (The Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean,The Dark Knight and more than 150 other films) will conduct UCF student and faculty musicians in a presentation of songs from the 2014 Matthew McConaughey/Anne Hathaway movie Intersteller. Theoretical physicist Kip Stephen Thorne, who served as scientific consultant to the film, will talk about the science behind the movie.

Also this date, The Life is a Dream Project, inspired by Pedro Calderón de la Barca’s play of the same name, will be presented as a contemporary one-act play in Spanish. This project is in collaboration with the UCF Department of Modern Languages.

April 10 – Concert for Expectant Parents. Musicians from UCF and the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra will perform while former U.S. Surgeon General Antonia Novella provides insights into the effects of music on brain development.

April 11 – Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale). The UCF School of Performing Arts presents the story of a soldier who trades his prized possession, a violin, to the devil in exchange for promises of riches.

April 13 – Night of Percussion, a day of workshops with university and high school students culminates in a giant celebration of percussion.

April 14 and 16– Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love), a semi-staged production of Donizetti’s most popular comic opera.

April 15 – Patrick Doyle’s Music of Shakespeare. Composer Doyle presents his greatest works from Kenneth Branagh’s Shakespeare movies (Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V and others), conducted by maestro James Shearman (Brave, Thor, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). The UCF Orchestra and choir will perform songs and underscores from scenes in the films with actors from Orlando Shakespeare Theater and Prague Shakespeare Company playing the parts.

April 16 – Concert by the Flying Horse Big Band. The UCF jazz-studies’ big band brings a swingin’ end to UCF Celebrates the Arts.

The music presentations are some of the many events that will be presented at UCF Celebrates the Arts, which is all free and open to the public. The festival will showcase theatre, dance, orchestra, choirs, big band, chamber music, cabaret, concert bands, opera, visual arts, studio art, gaming, animation, photography and film.

This is part of a series of stories about the April 8-16 events at UCF Celebrates the Arts 2016. All events are free, but tickets are required for performances and entrance into the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 S. Magnolia Ave., Orlando. The full schedule and ticket information is at arts.cah.ucf.edu.