Maestro, orchestra start off FACS

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Celebrating 20 years of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, the University of Indianapolis Faculty Artist Concert Series held its annual gala opening concert featuring artist-in-residence, Maestro Raymond Leppard.

The concert was held at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 in the Ruth Lilly Performance Hall of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center.

The concert began with President Robert Manuel offering a brief background of the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center and words of gratitude to Christel DeHaan. He also acknowledged her presence in the performance hall.

“To begin our celebration tonight, I want to offer just a short commentary about the influence this facility and more importantly Christel DeHaan has had on our university,” Manuel said.  “To do this, I spoke with many at UIndy who have worked with Christel or were here during her leadership as a chair of our board of trustees. Every individual I spoke with, every individual that remembers Christel’s leadership here at the university said that she was transformational. . . She made possible not only the physical building we are in tonight, but she also inspired us to fill it with students, faculty, and professional musicians. She stretched us to think of this space as a source of arts programing for our community.”

The concert comprised music by Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Gustav Holst, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The Holst pieces included four pieces from “St. Paul’s Suite, Op. 29, No. 2,” which were “Jig: Vivace,” “Ostinato: Presto,” “Intermezzo: Andante con moto” and “Finale (The Dargason): Allegro.” The Bach pieces included three pieces from “Brandenburg Concerto No. 4 in G Major, BWV 1049,” “Allegro,” “Andante” and “Presto.” The Handel pieces included selections from “Rodelinda, HWV 19” which included “Bertarido’s aria: Confusa si miri,” “Duet: Io t’abbraccio” and “Rodelinda’s aria: Mio caro bene.” The concert closed out with selections from Mozart,  “Mass in C Major, K. 257 (Credo Mass),” which included “Kyrie eleison,” “Gloria” and “Agnus Dei.”

Sophomore nursing major Karina Rodriguez felt the concert was a cultural experience.

“I have never spoken a word of Latin, but hearing the choir sing in Latin so beautifully made me want to speak it,” Rodriguez said. “I love that UIndy offers so many events that open your eyes to things that you aren’t accustomed to. Although I was originally here for a class requirement, I am glad that I was able to be a part of this event, celebrating 20 years of the center.”

The concert performers included member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the University of Indianapolis Artist-in-Residence,the University of Indianapolis Festival Orchestra, and the University of Indianapolis Choral Ensembles. The soloists of the concert included Director of Vocal Studies Kathleen Hacker singing soprano, vocal department professor Mitzi Westra singing mezzo-soprano, Director of Strings Ensembles Austin Hartman playing the violin, and Anne Reynolds and Tamara Thweatt playing the flute. The student soloists consisted of Shannon Christie, soprano, Elisabeth Kleinsmith, mezzo-soprano, Andrew Wegg, tenor, and Glen Hall, bass-baritone.

“I thought the concert was well done,” said sophomore psychology major Danielle Graves.  “It was my first time attending and I left with a new perspective on music. I normally don’t listen to music of that nature, but I loved every minute of the concert.”

The next FACS is Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in Ruth Lilly Performance Hall.

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