Music students are in the spotlight at the Prism concert Saturday night

What better way to showcase the students of the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music than to let them sing and play their instruments?

Prism, Saturday's concert in the Bill Heard Theater, is just the way to do that.

Among the students performing in the concert are Boris Abramov and Andrew Hudson, who just returned from Denver, where they competed in the Music Teachers National Association competition. Abramov won in the senior performance competition in the string category, while Hudson won in the woodwind category. They both performed in the winners' concert and received $2,000 each. They were accompanied by Susan Hoskins.

10th and Broadway, the CSU clarinet quartet of John Inzetta, Jason Thorne, Steven Naimark and Hudson, also competed.

Earl Coleman, who is now the assistant dean of the College of Arts and Letters and the William and Isabelle Curry Eminent Professor of Voice, came up with the idea, Prism committee member Robert Rumbelow said. Coleman was then the interim director of the Schwob School.

"I believe it was his idea, and I'm a big fan," Rumbelow said.

Rumbelow conducts the Wind Ensemble and Wind Orchestra and directs wind activities.

"It is a perfect way to show our community a quick view into the great variety and world-class student talent we have, and to celebrate our relationship with our donors, the city of Columbus and the art music world in general," he said.

Fred Cohen, who took over the reins of director of the Schwob School last fall, agrees with Rumbelow. He said more than 200 students in various instrumental and vocal configurations will perform music ranging from Dvorak to Piazzolla.

"The format of the Prism program is particularly user-friendly," Cohen said. "In a mere 60 minutes, you will see and hear 17 different musical groups, each performing a work between three and six minutes in duration."

But getting those 17 different groups of students on and off stage is a major logistical feat.

"The most difficult part of this production is the logistics which include moving large numbers of people, quietly, and changing sets quickly while music is being performed at another staging area. it was not difficult to get everyone on board this year or last year. In fact, we do so many things and have so many student groups of which we are proud that the difficult thing is to cut the participating groups down enough to show a sample from every area without creating too long of a program."

The concept of the Prism concert comes from the Eastman School of Music, which began its Prism concerts in the 1970s, Rumbelow said. Other music programs across the country began to pick up the idea, and he said the one at Florida State University is very popular.

"The Prism program and format is open and welcoming to the entire Columbus community," Cohen said.

"I sincerely hope that many folks who have yet to experience the world-class quality of their 'local school,' as well as the many members of our community who are quite familiar with the Schwob School, will join us for an entertaining, uplifting and deeply rewarding experience on Saturday night."

IF YOU GOWhat: Prism, the second annual concert, featuring the students and faculty of the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music. Among the performers are the CSU Wind Orchestra, Concert Chorale, Guitar Ensemble, Chamber Singers, Jazz Band, Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble and several student soloists. When: 7:30 p.m. SaturdayWhere: Bill Heard Theatre, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, 900 BroadwayTickets: $10-$35Information: 706-256-3612