Posts Tagged ‘Schwob School of Music’

Musical Chairs Make a Big Difference

November 20, 2017

Cameron Bean, Executive Director of Development for Columbia s State University, with Col. (Ret.) Hal J. and Marie A.Gibson standing by the new display for their donation of the Distinguished Chair in Conducting for the Schwob School of Music.

No doubt, one of the main reasons that the Schwob School of Music attracts extraordinarily talented student musicians from all over the world is that it has world-class instructors. And one of the main reasons is they are paid well, thanks to a large number of endowed chairs funded by generous benefactors.  Faculty members who are honored with Chairs in Music get significant supplements to their salaries.

Schwob Wind Ensemble conducted by Jamie L. Nix, The Hal J. Gibson Distinguished Chair in Conducting,

The latest faculty member to receive that honor is Jamie L. Nix, Conductor of the Schwob Wind Ensemble, thanks to Hal J. and Marie L. Gibson.  Cameron Bean, Executive Director of Development for Columbus State University, announced the addition of the Hal J. Gibson Distinguished Chair in Conducting at the Schwob Wind Ensemble Kick-off Concert for the 20th Anniversary CSU Conductors Workshop.  Bean said that Col. (Ret.) Hal Gibson is a retired Schwob School of Music faculty member, who, after leading the U.S.. Army Field Band and the United States Armed Forces Bicentennial Band, came to then Columbus College in 1976 to develop the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, gaining national recognition and acclaim for the Columbus State University band program. He retired from CSU in 1991. The Legacy Hall audience gave the Gibsons a standing ovation.

Col. Gibson and I had a nostalgic conversation during intermission. I got to know him when I accepted an invitation from him to emcee one of his Symphonic Wind Ensemble’s concerts. On June 1st. 1981, he reenacted a John Phillip Sousa concert at the Springer Opera House.  That was special for me because my mother, Sara McMichael, was in the audience. I informed the audience that she had actually attended  Sousa’s last concert at the Springer on February 18, 1922.

The 2nd balcony is used now for lighting, but it was built as a segregated balcony for African-Americans back in Jim Crow days. There was a second box office and flight of stairs that led to it.

The only seats left when her father decided to take her – she was about 11 years old – were in the second balcony, which was called the “peanut gallery” back then. That balcony was actually for “colored” patrons at that time.  However, for the Sousa performance, the high demand for tickets by whites led the Springer to close the second balcony to African-Americans and open it for whites. That was the way it was prior to 1964 when the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress, ending racial segregation in public facilities.

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The Music is Back!

August 15, 2016
Professor of Music  Joseph Golden, University Organist, Director of External Relations and Director Opera, Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University

Professor of Music Joseph Golden, University Organist, Director of External Relations and Director Opera, Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University, at the Allen Theater Organ.

The summer music drought is over, and the Schwob School of Music kicked off its concert season Sunday with Dueling Organs.

We  enjoyed the classical opening session featuring Naples, Florida organist Dr. James Cochran at the Jordan Concert Organ playing duets with five local organists at the Allen Classic Organ. But, to be honest, we enjoyed the closing pop section with Professor Golden at the Allen Theater Organ even more.  I mean, how are you going to beat “Over the Rainbow,” “Embraceable You,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” Cabaret,” and “I Got Rhythm?”

The Allen electric  digital organ which is both a classic and theater organ, depending, I guess, on which button the organist presses. It was trucked in from Atlanta and set up on the stage of Legacy Hall. The million-dollar Jordan Pipe Organ is permanently installed.

The Allen, with its many speakers, sounds very much like a pipe organ.  The theatrical mode really stood out when it was used to provide the music for Charlie Chaplin’s 1916 silent comedy “The Rink.”  The big movie theaters of the silent movie era all had theater organs to supply the music and sound effects for the films.

Professor Golden improvised the score. His performance was truly impressive.

The Fox Theater in Atlanta still has its huge theater pipe organ,  as does the Rylander Theater in Americus. Those organs are almost a hundred years old, and they sound great.  Of course, they have had a little maintenance over the years.

 

Talk About a Bargain

February 1, 2016

CSU provides a great gift to music lovers in our area, concerts by extraordinarily talented student musicians and their instructors.  Julie Bray and I were among those who attended Sunday’s impressive concert by the CSU Philharmonic and Joseph Golden on Legacy Hall’s million-dollar organ.  Admission price: zero. 

We agreed that the orchestra’s opening selection, Emmanuel Chabrier’s rthymic and colorful Espana, ,was delightful.   The second selection, Camille Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 “Organ” in C Minor, Op. was powerful and gave the orchestra and Joseph Golden the opportunity to display their extraordinary musical talents.  We were impressed by the second one.  However, we agreed the first one was more enjoyable. It created a festive and happy mood. The second one was very dramatic. Very.

There are many more free concerts by CSU students and faculty that you can attend. If you love great live music performances, the price is certainly right.  We plan to take advantage of that. Maybe you will, too.     

 

The Icredible Doc

September 11, 2015
Doc Severensin autographing CDs at River Center, Columbus, GA

Doc Severinsen autographing CDs at River Center, Columbus, GA

Doc Severinsen and his big band brought the house down in the Bill Heard Theater at the River Center last night. At age 88, he can still hit the really high notes on his trumpet, and energetically lead his band and emcee the concert from start to finish. The concert featured the great big band and jazz classic songs of the swing era. It was encouraging to see a lot of young folks there, some with their grand parents and some Schwob School of Music students.

I asked one of the CSU Jazz Band students what he thought of the concert. He thought it was great and said, “I’m going to have to practice more.” Doc had taught aMaster Class for Schwob students before the concert.

The line of fans wanting to buy autographed CDs was the longest I have ever seen.

It was truly an enjoyable evening, especially for audience members who, like me, enjoyed Severensin and his band on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show on NBC for thirty years.

Thanks to the Columbus Jazz Society for sponsoring the event.

 

Musical Brilliance Right Here in River City

February 16, 2015

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The Schwob star in the Columbus music crown continues to shine brighter and brighter.  That was amply illustrated when Professor Seguis Schwartz and Professor Boris Abramov’s Vilolin Studio students awed the audience in Legacy Hall Sunday afternoon.

It’s hard to come up with a superlative powerful enough to describe the quality of the performances of those Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music violinists.  Schwob’s reputation and scholarship program has attracted truly world-class, competition-winning student violinists.  And those world-class students come from all over, places like China, Russia, Israel, Poland, Canada, Saipan, and, Georgia (US), Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New York, and South Carolina.

If you enjoy beautiful music, don’t miss their performances at CSU. 

 

 

 

Appreciating Great Music

September 29, 2014

 

Museum Kids Music 013

How do you  get  people to  learn to appreciate and  enjoy really great symphonic, classical, and jazz music?

First of all, you have to expose them to it, preferably at a young age.

The Columbus State University Schwob School of Music is playing a major role in doing that in our area.  A prime example is the free concert for children held at  the National Infantry Museum Sunday afternoon.  The children and their parents and grandparents got to hear some extraordinary piano, cello, vocal and jazz combo performances by CSU faculty and student musicians, including some very young ones.  Schwob offers courses to young children as well as college students. The concert selections were all done in an entertaining way that young children could enjoy,  introduced by a female student in a “Pianosaurus” costume. Judging by the reaction of the children in the audience, it worked. They loved it.  

There will be many more free concerts for children of all ages by these extraordinarily talented Schwob students.  The school’s website tells you where and when.  Just click on this link.

 

 

PA Parents Pay Tribute to CSU’s Schwob School of Music

May 15, 2014

The following came as a comment to my blog post on the recent “Atlanta Day” concert from the parents of a Columbus State University student who played a French Horn in the concert. I decided it needs to run as a main post. It’s a fine tribute to the Schwob School of Music. Also, I appreciate the nice things said about this blog. Comments like this make blogging worthwhile.     

Mr. McMichael,

This is a note from the ‘interesting ‘folks’ you met from Scranton, PA at the CSU Philharminic/Atlanta Youth Orchestra concert……we are absolutely THRILLED to be an anecdote for your writings. I was not kidding you when I told you how much of an impact your articles about Schwob had on our decision to send our son Justin so far away to school. I hope that there are other parents of young, hard-working, talented musicians who read this entry and post and find assurance that Schwob is simply the best of all worlds, artistically speaking. My son is growing tremendously as a musician and artist, as well as getting the very best preparation for his future hopes of being a Music Educator and working with young aspiring minds.

I just can’t say enough about the wonderful faculty at Schwob. Our family will always be indebted to them for all they do for our college age children.

If I may, I’d also like to personally thank the benefactors of the Schwob community. I hope they know what a truly spectacular world they have created here. It is nothing short of miraculous.

So, Mr. McMichael….. you now have great friends as well as avid readers up North! We love you and your column….are grateful to you for your past writings, and look forward to all those in the future. Thank You for all you do you do to spread optimism, positive spirit, and musical sunshine. The world needs MORE of that!

Keep ON!! (See you next Spring!)

All the Best!!
Justin and Sharon Ambrozia
Scranton, PA

CSU Impact on Downtown Columbus

May 5, 2014

 

 Columbus State University Philharmonic Orchestra (I took this with my iPhone camera.)

Columbus State University Philharmonic Orchestra (I took this with my iPhone camera.)

I know.  The Uptown Columbus folks want us to  call it that,  but I  lived at 1109 1/2 Fifth Avenue in downtown Columbus from 1940 (I was nine years old) to 1947, so the area is still downtown Columbus to me. When I am speaking of the downtown promotional consortium, I’ll call it Uptown Columbus.  Geographically it  remains, to me and a lot of veteran Columbusites,  downtown Columbus.

Anyway, as I sipped my delicious caramel smoothie at Iron Bank Coffee yesterday,  I reflected on how the area has come alive again, and, to me, it is a more beautiful and vibrant area than it has ever been.  For that, we can thank Columbus State University and Columbus philanthropists who kicked in millions to help pay for  moving the College of the Arts from the main campus to downtown Columbus.   

In a thank-you letter I got for a small contribution to the Patrons of Music in support of the Schwob School of Music,  Dean Richard Baxter  told me that the College of the Arts, which has more than 800 majors, “contributes more than $10.7 million to the Uptown Columbus economy each year.   Our 300 majors living on theRiverPark Campus foster a vibrant community of gifted, creative talent positively impacting the quality of life in Columbus for all of us.”

Amen! 

   

You Meet Some Really Interesting Folks at the River Center

April 29, 2014

Sometimes I am tempted to stop blogging on a basically weekly basis,  but then someone will let me know that they read my musings, and that inspires me to keep on keeping on.

It happened Sunday evening in the Bill Heard Theater at the  River Center.  Shortly after a friend and I took our seats in the audience, my friend started a conversation with a lady in the row in front of us.  Turns out the lady’s teenage daughter plays French Horn  with the  Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, which was about to play its part of a concert titled ASYO & CSU Philharmonic “Atlanta Day.”

When I heard that, I commented that my son and daughter-in-law played French Horn in their  high schools’ concert bands.  When another lady sitting with her husband also in the row in front of us heard that, she volunteered that their son plays the French Horn in the Columbus State University Philharmonic, which would be playing the second half of the “Atlanta Day” concert. They had come down from Scranton, PA to hear their son play in a number of concerts this weekend.

As she was saying that, her gaze focused on me, and she asked, “Are you a writer … a reporter?”

“Well, yes.”

She must have recognized me from my picture on this blog. “I thought so,” she exclaimed, and explained that she and her husband read posts on this blog about the Schwob School of Music.  They were impressed and decided Schwob might be the school that would be right for their son. She said that it turned out that it is, and they are glad he is here.

That’s definitely a compliment, because she should know a good school of music when she sees one; she is a middle and high school band director herself.

We’re glad he’s here, too, because that means he passed auditions, and to do that he simply has to be a truly talented musician.  Schwob, with its internationally respected teachers, generous scholarships, and impressive facilities, attracts really fine college musicians from all over the world.

As far as the Sunday concert is concerned, both orchestras brought the house down with their inspired performances.  The Atlanta Symphony  Youth Orchestra bussed its one hundred members to Columbus  for some master class lessons,  a look at the River Center, and to play in the Sunday concert.  Schwob School of Music leaders added that it was also a good opportunity to do some  recruiting.  Those Atlanta kids were truly impressive when they played Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 and Alexander Borodin’s charming Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. 

That experience made me reflect on how CSU’s College of the Arts has transformed downtown Columbus into a charming,  vibrant, happening place again. More on that coming up. Stay tuned.    

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

And the Classical Beat Goes On

April 13, 2014

Schwob School of Music’s Kaleidoscope again Showcases Brilliant Student Musicians

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Statue of Oscar Peterson at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada. Wikipedia says, “It was unveiled in June 2010 by the reigning sovereign of Canada, Queen Elizabeth II.” (Photo by Skeezix1000)

The late Oscar Peterson, who garnered 8 Grammy Awards as best Jazz Pianist, was considered by many musicians to be the greatest jazz pianist in the world. He had been classically trained. He advised his jazz students to learn to play the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in order to play jazz well. 

The Bill Heard Theater was full of classically trained musicians – some who played some swinging jazz – Saturday night, students of the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music, performing the school’s annual Kaleidoscope Concert. Those young people are brilliant college musicians who are being taught by world-class classical instructors, who  are also internationally recognized virtuosos themselves.   They demonstrated those facts for a large, appreciative audience. The different ensembles and soloists sang and played on the main stage, in front of it, and in the boxes, going from one number to the next without applause. The audience had been asked not to applaud until the end of the concert. Once they could applaud, they did so thunderously.

It’s really encouraging that Columbus is giving such moral and financial support to the Schwob School of Music. Columbus has been supportive of serious music since 1855, when the country’s second symphonic orchestra was formed by Mendelssohn’s student Herman S. Saroni . The first one was the New York Philharmonic. Thankfully, that tradition continues.