Monday, June 17, 2024

New rhythm

College of Music celebrates new status with concert

September 26, 2007

Professor of music and maestro for MSU’s Symphony Orchestra, Leon Gregorian, conducts the rehearsal for the orchestra’s Friday performance at the Music Building on Wednesday. The Symphony Orchestra, which is composed of students representing over 30 countries, just returned from performing in Europe this summer.

For some students in the College of Music, the move from a school to a college shows a strong commitment from the university to the continued growth of the arts.

“Since the university is willing to support a college that is totally devoted toward art, it shows great appreciation,” said Jonathan Nichol, a first-year music performance doctoral student.

Last spring, the college changed from its original status as a school within the university.

Kevin Sedatole, MSU’s director of bands, said one of the biggest changes so far is that the college has its own governing system. Being a college gives the school national spotlight and the ability to have a more national and world-wide attraction, he said.

“We hope when we go for a job we get it on merit of our abilities as a musician and performer, but this can give us an extra boost coming from a more prestigious background,” Nichol said.

On Friday, the college is celebrating its new title and kicking off the Year of Arts and Culture with a concert — MSU College of Music Collage Concert.

Sedatole said the concert has been in the works since May, and there are about 500 performers with 22 types of performances.

“It is a collage concert. It has great variety, very fast pace, no applause between movements, highly produced and demonstrates the strength of student performance from every program in the college,” Forger said.

James Forger, the college’s dean, said students, from a curriculum and performance program standpoint, won’t see much noticeable impact or change currently.

“In the coming years I think it being a college will play itself out when the administration gets used to their roles as leaders of the college instead of the school of music,” said Ryan Romine, a second-year music performance doctoral student.

However, the change will be apparent from an administrative angle, Forger said.

“The move to a college has helped us solidify our own development area,” he said. “It concentrates and assists us in development efforts to raise money. It permits us to establish an alumni special events office.”

But with the positives also come risks, Forger said.

Since the college is small, it operates with a budget model where a portion of the operating budget is automatically reduced each year, Forger said.

“With a comparatively small budget, you have less flexibility to maneuver,” he said.

Sedatole said the concert will be an opportunity for the college to display its depth and celebrate its multiple facets.

“It’s a great opportunity for the students to see what people within the entire college are doing,” Romine said, who’s performing in the concert. “We are so devoted to our specific area of study that we might not realize what sort of talent is in other areas of the college.”

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