Jul 19, 2019
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Darlene Wendels / The Collegian Conductor Thomas Loewenheim leads the Fresno State Gala Orchestra, a faculty-student orchestral collaboration, during a performance of Aram Khachaturian’s “Nocturne” for the Faculty Gala Concert held in the Music Foyer on campus Saturday.

Students strike a chord with faculty

Fresno State’s department of music faculty and students hold concert for scholarship funding 

Darlene Wendels / The Collegian Conductor Thomas Loewenheim leads the Fresno State Gala Orchestra, a faculty-student orchestral collaboration, during a performance of Aram Khachaturian’s “Nocturne” for the Faculty Gala Concert held in the Music Foyer on campus Saturday.

Darlene Wendels / The Collegian
Conductor Thomas Loewenheim leads the Fresno State Gala Orchestra, a faculty-student orchestral collaboration, during a performance of Aram Khachaturian’s “Nocturne” for the Faculty Gala Concert held in the Music Foyer on campus Saturday.

On Saturday evening, Fresno State’s department of music presented its Faculty Gala Concert Benefit, an orchestral collaboration of its faculty members and their top students.

Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, director of the University Orchestra conducted the night’s performance with a three-piece program of compositions from Schubert’s “Symphony No. 9 played in C Major, D.” 944 “The Great”; Khachaturian’s “Suite from Masquerade (1944)” and Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dance No.1 in C major, Op.46, No.1.”

The orchestral collaboration featured Schubert’s sweet romanticized melodies to Khachaturian’s and Dvořák’s energetic dance pieces.

The event’s audience included Fresno State students and faculty, members of the Arts and Humanities advisory board, community members along with Fresno State President Joseph Castro and Mary Castro.

“It was incredibly exciting,” Castro said of the night’s performance.

“It’s the first time we’ve seen the faculty concert—it’s great to see faculty and students play together.”

In order to make the concert possible all participating faculty and students worked collectively for three days to prepare the night’s program.

“It is a big sacrifice each member of the orchestra does, but we hope to excite our audience and provide them with a wonderful experience,” Loewenheim said.

“This is the second time we have an orchestral collaboration of students and faculty—I do not know of any other university that presents a faculty and student orchestral collaboration.”

Proceeds from the benefit are used to support the Department of Music Scholarship Fund and are the only means of fundraising to help students in the program.

“The support and attendance at our concerts is most meaningful to me and our students,” Loewenheim said.

Dulce Vargas, a Fresno State sophomore and music education major, was one of the selected students to be a part of the night’s performance. Playing the flute under the direction of Dr. Teresa Beaman, Vargas said she was honored to play her first Faculty Gala Concert with those she considers her role models.

“It’s really exciting to play with people I look up to. Getting the opportunity to play with them is a one of a kind experience,” Vargas said.

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