After months of COVID-19 precautions, Emporia State’s music department is excited to start performing in concerts again for the first time in 11 months.

“Personally, I am looking forward to being physically in the concert hall,” said Allan Comstock, the chair of the music department and professor of music.

A jazz concert on Sept. 30 in Albert Taylor Hall kicked off the start of the concert season. The ESU Faculty Jazz combo, which includes Javier Chavez on saxophone, Gary Ziek on trumpet, Ramiro Miranda on violin, Riley Day on guitar, Tracy Freeze on vibraphone, William Woodworth on bass guitar, and Kevin Rabason the drum set, performed first.They played three of Ziek’s own arrangements.

Following that performance, guitar duo Riley Day and Seth Cuppy performed “Take the A Train” by Billy Strayhorn and “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5.

There was also a special guest beatboxer, freshman theatre major Brennan Ryan. He freestyled for over five minutes to claps and cheers from the crowd.

After the intermission, the ESU Ensemble I performed “The Opener II” and “Bye, Bye, Blackbird.”

Two trumpets, Ben Orstadt, senior psychology major, and Katelyn Hess, senior music major, were featured during “Over the Rainbow” while the band backed them.

Javier Chavez, senior music major, was featured during “Living for the City,” “Pura Emocion” and “Work Song.”

The following Saturday, Oct. 2nd, the Annual Benefit Concert Gala took place in Albert Taylor Hall. This concert featured an alumni choir and the ESU Acapella Choir.

The Gala honored Terry Barham and inducted him into the Beach Hall of Distinction, which is in front of Heath Recital Hall. Barham taught choral arranging, choral conducting and is a published author, according to his plaque.

This is just the beginning of this semester’s concert season.

“We have a wide variety of concerts coming up,” Comstock said.

The next concert will be the Flute Family Recital at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 in Heath Recital Hall.

The Emporia Symphony Orchestra will be performing their Pops Concert at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the Emporia Granada Theatre. Songs will be from Star Wars, Downton Abbey Suite, Fantastic Beasts, and many more well-known movies.

Tickets for this concert can be bought at the ESU music office, located in Beach Hall, or at the Granada Theater. General Admission is $10 and student tickets are $5.

The Fall Choir Concert will be on Oct. 24, the Single Reed Showcase will be on Oct. 26 and the flute choir will perform on Oct. 28.

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