In any given week, Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music holds at least three concerts featuring student ensembles. But this Saturday’s Kaleidoscope features practically every Schwob School student musician.
It’s a great showcase to see what they’ve learned.
Fred Cohen, who teaches composition, and Jamie Nix, who teaches wind studies, are the faculty coordinators. It’s Cohen’s fifth such concert and Nix’s first. Nix began working at the Schwob School last fall.
There are 230 students at the Schwob School this year, and Kaleidoscope “incorporates most of the school,” Nix said.
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Two Russian artist diploma students studying piano, Alina Sarkisyan, 31, and Tatiana Muzanova, 27, are performing in their first Kaleidoscope. Heather Thomas, 20, a junior studying violin, and Kory Baggarley, 19, a junior studying flute, have performed before.
Baggarley said as long as he’s prepared, all he has to do is “show up and play and be in the right place.”
Sounds easy, but with all of the Bill Heard Theatre used, and no one playing more than five minutes, students are often running just to make sure they are in the right place, just as Baggerley said.
“It is a little confusing at first,” Thomas said. “But in the end, it’s fun.”
Cohen and Nix have been working with RiverCenter for the Performing Arts staff to work out all the logistics to make sure the stage is set up with the right number of chairs and music stands for the big groups and some of the soloists.
Students who are not performing are called on to help move chairs and music stands, and they must be “fast and quiet,” Nix said.
Kaleidoscope used to be called Prism. Cohen changed it two years ago.
“I got tired of telling people that, no, we aren’t going to perform in the prison,” Cohen said. “It would be a wonderful thing to do in prison, but not for this program.”
Thomas said the audience is very responsive and very enthusiastic.
Cohen said the concert usually sells out, but some people don’t show up. Last year about 200 people were turned away, but there were empty seats. He recommends that patrons buy tickets prior to arriving and if they can’t attend, give tickets to friends.