U of M’s 100th birth­day

Cen­ten­nial bash kicks off with grand sym­phony per­for­mance

The Commercial Appeal - - My Life - By Carol Morse

The Univer­sity of Mem­phis will launch its 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion with a Cen­ten­nial Kick-off Con­cert at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at The Can­non Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts. The evening of en­ter­tain­ment will fea­ture per­for­mances by stu­dents, fac­ulty and alumni of the Univer­sity’s Rudi E. Scheidt School of Mu­sic, along with a spe­cial guest — Grammy Award­win­ning soul and R&B mu­si­cian Aaron Neville.

The pro­gram will fea­ture the de­but of two orig­i­nal com­po­si­tions, “Cen­ten­nial Fan­fare” and “Pres­i­den­tial Por­traits,” writ­ten by long­time U of M mu­sic pro­fes­sor James Richens. Per­form­ers will in­clude the Univer­sity of Mem­phis Sym­phony Or­ches­tra con­ducted by Mae­stro Pu-Qi Jaing, the Wind En­sem­ble, South­ern Com­fort Jazz Or­ches­tra, Sound Fuzion and the Univer­sity Singers.

The evening will also fea­ture alumni Pyung-Kang Sharon Oh, vi­o­lin; Louis Otey, bari­tone; and con­duc­tor Xiao -Ou Zhao.

Neville has had a suc­cess­ful ca­reer as a solo artist and as a mem­ber of the Neville Broth­ers. His hits in­clude “Tell It Like It Is,” “Don’t Know Much,” “All My Life” and “Ev­ery­body Plays the Fool.”

Ac­cord­ing to School of Mu­sic di­rec­tor Ran­dal Rush­ing, “When plans for the cen­ten­nial were for­mu­lat­ing over a year ago, the fac­ulty were asked to ‘think big’ and present pro­pos­als for spe­cial cen­ten­nial events. Mae­stro Pu-Qi Jiang pro­posed a U of M Sym­phony Or­ches­tra con­cert. We are ex­cited that the plan evolved into such a grand event.”

Tick­ets are $28 and $20, plus fees, avail­able through Tick­et­mas­ter and at the Can­non Cen­ter box of­fice. A lim­ited num­ber of tick­ets will be sold to U of M fac­ulty, staff and stu­dents for $12, plus fees, in early Septem­ber.

The cen­ten­nial cel­e­bra­tion will be­gin this fall and last through De­cem­ber 2012. Dur­ing that time, a se­ries of land­mark events will pay trib­ute to the univer­sity’s past and look for­ward to its fu­ture. Among the high­lights will be the largest the­ater pro­duc­tion ever staged by the univer­sity, Andrew Lloyd We­ber’s “The Phan­tom of the Opera,” in February 2012; an alumni week­end in April 2012, when a bronze sculp­ture of beloved Tiger mas­cot Tom will be un­veiled; and the 30th Bi­en­nial Pub­lic Address Con­fer­ence in Septem­ber 2012.

Carol Morse is mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager for the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Mu­sic.

Mae­stro Pu-Qi Jiang will lead the Univer­sity of Mem­phis Sym­phony Or­ches­tra as it launches its 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion of the univer­sity. There will be a Cen­ten­nial Kick-off Con­cert at 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at The Can­non Cen­ter for the Per­form­ing Arts.

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