U of M’s 100th birthday
Centennial bash kicks off with grand symphony performance
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.