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Baylor Centennial Collage Concert shows off School of Music talent

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Baylor Wind Ensemble

The Baylor Wind Ensemble, seen in this 2019 photo, is one of 13 groups and soloists performing in the School of Music's kaleidoscopic Collage Concert on Saturday night at Waco Hall.

COVID-19 protocols put much of the Baylor University School of Music’s centennial celebrations last year on ice, but the school will showcase a wide-ranging sample of its student musicians in a Centennial Collage Concert on Saturday.

The free concert at Waco Hall lives up to its title in programming: Some 300 students in 13 ensembles, duos and soloists, with selections defining eclectic: Asian folk song, Broadway musical, 19th-century Russian symphonic, 21st-century classical, American opera, contemporary jazz and more.

School of Music Dean Gary Mortenson said the concert, played with an intermission but in halves without a break between performers, demonstrates the “width and breadth” of the music school in the span of about 80 minutes. “I guarantee the audience will not be bored,” he said.

The school has performed similar collage concerts in past years, but largely went without public performances last year due to COVID-19 precautions.

Saturday’s concert will feature large ensembles such as the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, the Baylor Wind Ensemble and the A Cappella Choir down to solo pianist, organist, vibraphonist and soprano. In between, in terms of scale, are a brass quintet, a woodwind quintet, a saxophone quartet, and a tuba and euphonium duo.

Performers will use different parts of the Waco Hall stage, enabling a faster transition between acts.

Pieces on the concert program include classical works by Frederic Chopin, Edward Elgar, Charles-Marie Widor, Mikhail Glinka and György Ligeti; hymn arrangements; gospel and folk songs; the overture from Leonard Bernstein’s musical “Candide;” a selection from Aaron Copland’s opera “The Tender Land;” jazz and swing numbers by Glenn Miller and Benny Carter; and more.

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