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Fresno State music department conductor leads the orchestra throughout the Faculty Music Concert on Saturday night. (Aly Honore/The Collegian)

Annual gala provides musical sounds from faculty and students

In hopes of raising scholarship funds for Fresno State’s department of music, the annual gala concert, featuring an orchestra, was held last Saturday.

Faculty orchestra and vocalists performed alongside students in the concert hall. The performances featured a variety of instrumentals, including string and brass instruments and percussion.

“The main reason for this concert is to bring awareness to the music department and its wonderful faculty and students, but even more so to raise funds for student scholarships,” said Thomas Loewenheim, a professor in the music department and the orchestra’s conductor.

The concert was composed of four parts – Antonin Dvorak’s “Carnival Overture”; a composition by Fresno State professor Kenneth Froelich titled “Jefferson Rising”; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera “Cosi Fan Tutte”; and Reinhold Gliere’s “The Red Poppy Suite.”

Alexis Darrow, a Fresno State junior majoring in music, performed at the concert and said “Jefferson Rising” stood out to her.

“It was definitely more contemporary,” Darrow said. “It’s really brass heavy, which is not usual for symphony music.”

Alex Chan, a Fresno State graduate student, said he attended the concert to see one of his friends perform and because he likes orchestra music.

“[Orchestra music] will take you somewhere else from here,” Chan said. “You never know where it will lead you to and what will turn out next, and that’s fascinating.”

Loewenheim said he feels music can be used to bring people together.

“My goal is to bring peace and quiet to the people who come to the concert,” Loewenheim said. “And take them out of their daily, busy schedules to take some time to reflect and enjoy.”

In addition, Loewenheim said he feels that a variety of individuals can enjoy classical music.

“What’s so amazing about classical music is it really talks to everyone in their own way,” Loewenheim said. “For people who want to just listen to beautiful music, they can come. For people who understand art form and theory and harmony, they can really see the complexity of each and every piece.”