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May 13 preview concert kicks
To kick off their summer tour to Eastern Europe, a 20 member Purdue Jazz Ensemble and a 60 member Philharmonic Orchestra will give a free preview concert at noon Friday, May 13, at Reihle Plaza in downtown Lafayette.
The two groups leave May 14 to represent Purdue in Eastern Europe as they travel together and concertize in four major world cities – Krakow, Poland, Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Prague, Czech Republic.
“When I’ve taken students overseas, the thing that’s eye-opening is the impact it has on the students,” says Purdue Orchestra Director Andy King. “Beyond the sightseeing, it’s the performances, the way they’re received and the interaction with the people. There’s this real sense of how music brings people together.”
Throughout the 2010-11 season, King’s orchestras performed music from Eastern Europe for American audiences. In Europe they’ll perform American music. “There’ll be William Grant Still’s ‘Afro-American Symphony,’ some Copeland and Bernstein,” he says. The orchestra will give six concerts while abroad. One of them will be a concert with the Engineering University of Budapest which will allow the groups to join forces on several pieces. Although the orchestra and jazz ensemble are following the same travel itinerary, each group has its own concert schedule.
The Purdue Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mo Trout will give five concerts. They will perform Latin tunes from artists like Tito Puente and American favorites from Stan Kenton to Frank Sinatra. “There’s such a strong jazz community around Krakow. I’m looking forward to hooking up with some of their musicians and getting them to play with us,” Trout says. “They really like tunes that are very progressive in true American style. To them it represents freedom.”
The Eastern Europe tour, a Summer Study Abroad program, coincides with the department’s 125th anniversary. Throughout its long history, travel has been a hallmark of department activities.
Music and education are major components in the trip. Not only will there be numerous concert opportunities, but all the students will be exposed to the history of these ancient cities. At the 2011 tour’s first stop in Krakow they will get a chance to visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camp and the Wieliezka Salt Mine on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. Historical city tours highlight stops in Budapest and Prague; in Vienna, a tour of the royal Schoenbrunn Palace; in Kremsmuenster, the Museum of Modern Musical Instruments. Time is also available for personal exploration of these cities.
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