Emporia State band and choir held their Masterworks Concert at Feb. 24 in Albert Taylor Hall.

ESU students and faculty performed alongside community members. It takes a long time to prepare.

“It is a nice partnership between Emporia State and community,” said Robert Ward, assistant professor of Music and director of ESU choir. “The college and the community work together to bring this music to the stage.”

In the performance, organizers choose pieces from American, British and French female composers.

“We started preparing the choir since November of 2019,” Ward said. “The choir has about ten rehearsals on the music in three months and the orchestra really started in January, probably five or six rehearsals.”

With the focus on female composers the musicians had a unique opportunity to not only entertain the audience but to reflect on lesser known creators.

“Women composers and their pieces were underrepresented in the past,” Ward said. “We make sure they can be heard as well. It is pretty rare to find music by women composer for choir and orchestra, but it is really joy to learn their styles and experience of music.”

Many of the performers held a personal connection to the music and the focus on feminine empowerment through the arts.

“I prepared for this concert for two months or so,” said Yihan Wang, freshman music major.

With four choir pieces and an unaccompanied orchestra piece, the concert showcased five different composers.

“Getting the music done and working with the orchestra, that was really cool,” said Ashlynne Bowles, sophomore music education major. 

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