Advertisement

Chat about Collage Concert, fine arts program at KU

September 13, 2007

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

The annual Collage Concert, which features a variety of KU student performers, is Friday night.

Larry Mallett, chair of the department of music and dance at KU, will answer questions about the concert and any other music and dance questions you might have, whether they be about the 50th anniversary of Murphy Hall, the new band or orchestra directors, or anything else.

The chat begins at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Moderator:

Hi, everybody. Larry is here, so let's get started a little early. I'm Terry Rombeck, a features reporter at the J-W, and I'll moderate today's chat. Welcome, Larry.

Larry Mallett:

Thanks, Terry. Good to be here. I look forward to dialoguing with everyone.

Moderator:

This year's Collage Concert is Friday night at the Lied Center. I wrote a story about it - and two new music leaders - in today's Journal-World.

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/sep/13/ku_music_directors_make_debut_collage_concert/

Moderator:

Larry, give us a little sample of what all people might hear/see if they come Friday night.

Larry Mallett:

I think we have another interesting show. Included in the progam are three choirs, the orchestra, wind ensemble, a couple of solo events, and of course, the Marching Jayhawks. One of the variety of things we're trying to do this year is a different opener. I don't want to give it away, but I hope it will take the audience by surprise!

Moderator:

Speaking of the Marching Jayhawks ...

stunink:

I was encouraged to hear about the number of freshmen in the Marching Band. I'm wondering if there are specific changes that have created this positive turn. The Marching Jayhawks used to be over 300 and it's sad to see them so small. The Marching Band is the single most visible musical ensemble the University has. What does the future look like for the Marching Jayhawks?

Larry Mallett:

The future looks great. In fact, I had a meeting yesterday with the Dean, David Clemmer, Director of the Marching Jayhawks, and Scott Weiss, our new Director of Bands. This was the topic. Now that we have a great freshman class, how can we retain them? We're considering ways to keep students in the band. Of course, it's a very complex issue. Financial considerations are a concern, but not the only item we need to address. One thing that is a part of the puzzle is a winning football program. The chances of a major bowl game will enhance our prospects considerably. The reason for the large class this year is great recruiting. David Clemmer did a great job of meeting students, band directors in the area, and parents in order to address our numbers. If all of these things come together, I think we'll see a band of 250-300 in a few short years.

jniccum:

Murphy Hall has undergone massive renovations since I went to KU in the '80s. Are there any more major ones planned?

Larry Mallett:

Yes, we hope! One-quarter of the practice rooms on the fifth floor remain to be renovated. But perhaps the greatest challenge is the renovation of Swarthout Recital Hall. It remains in the same condition as it opened in 1957. Unfortunately, the seats and flooring need major repairs. The hall itself is still wonderful. Acoustics are some of the best I've experienced. We are an estimate to renovate Swarthout Recital Hall - $700,000. Actually, I thought it would be more. Now we need to identify the funds!

MyName:

Are there any events at Murphy this year that you are particularly looking forward to?

Larry Mallett:

Absolutely. This year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Murphy Hall. Our signature event is November 9-10. On November 9 we are sponsoring a musical theatre symposium. 1957 was a banner year on Broadway. THE MUSIC MAN, WEST SIDE STORY, and many others opened that year. Paul Laird and John Staniunas are hosting the symposium with speakers coming in from around the country. On November 10, we are doing a rededication ceremony at 5:00 with the Chancellor hosting, then THE MUSIC MAN at 7:30 that evening.

Moderator:

It seems like every year or two, your department starts up new performing groups. Are there any new groups/programs this year?

Larry Mallett:

No that I'm aware of! We have several choirs that "evolve" over the years, and the number of jazz bands and/or jazz combos changes according to personnel, but the offerings are stable this year.

Moderator:

It seems like there's been a lot going on in the art design department, which is one area that people might not be as familiar with as others. What's new there?

Larry Mallett:

I have almost a daily dialogue with the chairs of art and design. Both are relatively new and we have a great working relationship. Greg Thomas, design chair, and Dawn Guernsey, art chair, have brought a variety of new ideas and initiatives to their programs. I can tell you there is a "buzz" in those departments. At the Collage concert both departments have prepared an 8-minutes video. It's always one of the highlights of the evening.

Moderator:

I know the Vespers concert is always a popular event up on campus. How early do you start planning that, and what's in the works for this December?

Larry Mallett:

Actually the planning is almost complete. I met yesterday with John Paul Johnson, Director of Choral Activities, David Neely, our new Director of Orchestral Activities, and Paul Tucker, Associate Director of Choral Activities. Our plan is to offer a more "traditional" Vespers program than perhaps we've done the past few years. They have good ideas and I think the audience will enjoy the variety. Tickets are always a premium - at least the good seats! I encourage people to call the Lied Center right away. Both performances (2:30 and 7:30) are typically sold out.

Moderator:

That does it for today's chat. Thanks, Larry, for coming in, and good luck with the school year!

Larry Mallett:

Thanks, Terry. Always my pleasure to talk about our programs. I hope people will come out tomorrow night for the Collage Concert. It really is an entertaining "sampler" of what goes on in the School of Fine Arts.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.