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Midland University to host its ‘Smorgasbord Concert’

Midland University to host its ‘Smorgasbord Concert’

Mar 10th , 2017

Midland University instrumental music students will perform their “Smorgasbord Concert” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, in Clemmons Hall. For the first time in recent years, the department will showcase the University Band, the University Jazz Band and the University Chamber Orchestra in the same concert. 

The concert is free and open to the public.

The Midland University Band performs under the direction of Rex Barker, who is currently in his second year at the college. He also began serving as the Director of Performing Arts this year. 

“’Smorgasbord’ came from the idea of a lot of different things that are brought together with the idea of sharing with your friends, neighbors and new acquaintances,” Barker said. “We’re excited to bring these instrumental groups together for this concert.”

Students have prepared pieces such as “The Lion King” and “Arkansas River Ramble” for the show. In preparation for this concert, the ensemble had the opportunity to work with Larry MacTaggart, the composer of “Mt. Vernon Reverie.” 

Midland’s jazz ensemble performs under the direction of John Huss. The group plays various styles of jazz in both big band and combo arrangements. Huss has a number of different options to choose from when selecting the jazz pieces for this concert, Barker said. 

The Midland University Chamber Orchestra has been re-energized under the direction of Amber Snow, who joined the performing arts staff as the Associate Director of Music this year. 

“Our students have also enjoyed the challenge to find, prepare and perform chamber music pieces,” Barker said. “These have been mostly student-guided experiences.” 

Chamber groups include a flute quintet, saxophone quintet, clarinet choir, brass quintet, string and ocarina trio, brass choir and percussion ensemble. Song selections range from a classical Gavotte to a Star Wars medley. 

“It is exciting to see the growth of the instrumental music programs at Midland,” Barker said. “We are covering a wider range of literature with greater understanding.” 

Next up is “The Spotlight Series: Leaving a Story to Tell,” Midland’s second student-produced show of the season, held at The May Brothers Building in Fremont from March 31 -April 2. 

Midland University Performing Arts strives to enhance student experience by providing numerous unique performance opportunities throughout the year. The performing arts experience at Midland University is available to students studying any major. Students have opportunities to learn, grow, and live out their passions. 

Founded in 1883, Midland University is a private liberal arts institution rooted in the Lutheran tradition. The main campus is located in Fremont, Nebraska, just 20 minutes from Omaha. Midland offers more than 30 majors and undergraduate programs, as well as two graduate programs, including the area’s first hybrid MBA program. With an average class size of 18 students, Midland University emphasizes a hands-on, personalized learning experience.