Moores School of Music: Collage 2009

Last Thursday evening (9/10), the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston held its annual Collage program for the beginning of the school year.  This is an event where every department within the music school is showcased and serves as a preview of things to come for the semester.  The Jazz Orchestra was scheduled to begin promptly at 7:30, and at 7:28 a fire alarm tripped!  This delayed the show AND forced the crowd of hundreds outside until the premises was declared safe by authorities.  Gheesh!  Talk about your feats of aleatoricism!  John Cage would have been proud.  The review below is from the university's daily paper, The Daily Cougar.

Photo by Pin Lim

Rousing melodies engage crowd

By Christina Hildebrand, Monday, September 14, 2009

Even a highly sensitive fire alarm could not prevent Collage 2009 from introducing students to the Moores School of Music’s delightful fall schedule.

The alarm went off shortly before the concert was scheduled to begin, leading to a mass evacuation of the Moores Opera House. The show resumed, however, at around 7:42 p.m. Thursday.

The delay did not dampen the spirits of the audience or performers, as the concert was a success.

Moores School of Music Director David Ashley White joked about the ordeal, saying that the event was “censorship.”

White also said last year’s show was cancelled due to Hurricane Ike.

The concert was a preview of the many ensembles at the Moores School of Music and the concerts they will participate in during Fall 2009.

The MSM Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of faculty member Noe Marmolejo, opened the show with an excellent rendition of Phil Kelly’s “The Refrigerator.” This piece included a dashing trumpet solo that gave the selection edge.

Other great moments from Collage 2009 included Howard Hanson’s “Serenade,” performed by faculty members Jennifer Keeney (flute) and Timothy Hester (piano). Keeney made beautiful usage of vibrato on this slow, soothing piece.

One of the highlights of the evening was the world premiere of the mini-opera comedy, “Review: A Satire, An Opera, A Party.”

The mini-opera comedy starred vocal performance alumni Steve Uliana and Andrew Papas, vocal performance graduate students Jennifer Noel and Jack Beetle and vocal performance senior Kristopher Herron.

This segment was filled with Seinfeld-esque gags and included a joke that is common to the hit television show The Office when Beetle’s character said, “That’s what she said.”

After the mini-opera concluded, UH’s Concert Chorale took the stage with their hilarious rendition of the overture to “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini. Each vocal section of the chorale imitated the instruments used in the piece, creating interesting and amusing sounds.

The audience clapped at the command of MSM Wind Ensemble Director David Bertman during Karl E. Kings “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorites.” To conclude the evening, Bertman directed the Spirit of Houston Cougar Marching Band with the upbeat, rhythmically driven “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.

During the piece, many audience members showed school spirit by flashing the Cougar Paw.

If Thursday’s exciting performances were indicative of what people should expect, the Moores School of Music is set to have a great semester.