JCA highlights music students in showcase

Music ensembles take to the stage on Sunday for the first time this semester.

Clowes Memorial Hall will be hosting the School of Music Showcase on Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Butler University Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and Chorale will each perform different pieces.

The showcase is an annual concert that provides an opportunity for the community to see what the music ensembles are doing while also challenging the students to hit the ground running at the beginning of the fall semester, said Eric Stark, director of the Chorale.

Ensembles only have three weeks to rehearse before the showcase.

“It is definitely always the biggest cram, so in that sense, there is a lot of pressure, but it always ends up going well,” said senior Douglas Johnson, the president of the choir.

Stark said it is a great motivation and incentive for students.

The featured soloist is professor of voice Thomas Studebaker. He is an internationally- renowned tenor, and this is his second year at Butler.

He will perform “Danny Boy” and songs by Aaron Copland. The Wind Ensemble will be performing with him.

“He has taught us a lot about musicianship and how to play with a soloist because, as a large ensemble, it is not something we normally do,” senior Tim Mastic said.

The Wind Ensemble director, Robert Grechesky, described Studebaker as an “amazing singer, wonderful person, real professional and easy to work with.”

Stark said he likes to see what is happening with the other groups. He said they all rehearse at different times, so they do not get to see many of the other groups’ rehearsals.

“I see my colleagues, who are the directors of these ensembles, and they say, ‘It’s going great!’ but it is different to hear it for yourself,” he said.

Johnson agreed, saying first-timers are always surprised.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for people new to Butler to come and see ensembles because there are a bunch of really talented students in JCA,” Johnson said.

The showcase now counts as a Butler Cultural Requirement.  Johnson, Grechesky and Stark said they hope this will encourage attendance.

“What goes on here is really first-rate stuff,” Grechesky said. “There is going to be something for everybody.”

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