I've been meeting with people from Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music the past couple of weeks.
The music school is just growing so fast that it's almost outgrowing its space. I remember when it opened in 2000, almost every student has his or her own practice room. That's not happening now. Kids are sharing practice rooms. I think a couple of faculty are sharing offices, too.
There are six new faculty members, but one who turned in his resignation. Robert Rumbelow, who conducts the wind orchestra and ensemble, is leaving the school, to take a job at the University of Illinois starting in January. He will still be in and out of Columbus and will take part in several concerts next spring. I'll have more on Rob later.
Schwob director Fred Cohen had some good news for music fans. Most of the school's concerts this year will be free. The only concerts with tickets will be the Legacy Live! series and those in the classic series.
That's different from when the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts opened in 2000. That first year, every concert cost at least $5. The director then couldn't understandd why people weren't coming. I told him that there's a concert almost every night and people just couldn't afford to go to everything. I also said the faculty and student recitals should be free. Faculty were already paid a salary and sure, people could always use extra money, but ... And students should be happy to perform in front of an audience.
A few years later, most of those concerts became free, which I think made people go check out the Schwob School's offerings.
Now, almost all of them are free and you have no excuse not to go.
And Andrew Zohn, our very own guitar hero, told me that the Guitar Foundation of America will hold its annual convention here in 2011. It was here in 2006. He said that since he put that one together, this second convention will be easier. He knows what works and what didn't and he's already at work.
Don't forget to go to Andrew's concert Monday at 7:30 p.m. in Legacy Hall. You won't be sorry.