Week of virtual concerts planned by PSU’s Bicknell Center  

  Thursday, November 12, 2020 9:30 AM
  Arts & Entertainment, News

Pittsburg, KS


In the week leading up to Commencement at Pittsburg State Universityfour different student performance ensembles will be showcased through virtual concerts broadcast by the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts in cooperation with the PSU Department of Music. 

The concerts will be livestreamed or streamed at Facebook.com/bicknellcenterat pittstate.tv, and at YouTube.com/pittstate. There will be no live audiences, and while students were rehearsing and recording, they used COVID-19 safety protocols for music groups. 

For those who miss the stream, the concerts will be available for viewing on demand at pittstate.tv. The concerts also will be aired on CAPS 13 TV at a later date. 

Nov. 16: The Southeast Kansas Symphony 

The Southeast Kansas Symphony will present its recorded concert at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16. 

The concert, “Rising Stars,” is under the direction of Raul Munguia, with graduate student Amelia Warstler-Markley conducting. It will feature performances by winners of the 2019 Concerto/Aria Competition, Tyler Fries on trumpet, soprano Taylor Qualls, and Colton Sprenkle, oboe.  

The program will include the Trumpet Concerto in E flat by Franz Haydn, the Doll’s Song from “Tales of Hoffmann” by J. Offenbach, and the Oboe Concerto in A Minor by Antonio Vivaldi. The orchestra also will perform W. Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A Major. 

Nov. 17: The PSU Opera Workshop Class 

A virtual performance by students in the PSU Opera Workshop Class will be streamed at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17.  

The concert was recorded over several days with no live audience. It will consist of individual recordings of students each singing one or two arias accompanied by recorded tracks to limit the risk of COVID-19 spread to instrumental musicians. 

The class is taught by voice instructor Patrick Howle, himself an opera singer. 

Nov. 18: The PSU Jazz Ensemble 

The PSU Jazz Ensemble will perform a live virtual concert, with no in-person audience, at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 18.   

The band all wear special performance masks and bell covers and distanced seating. 

The concert, under the direction of Professor Robert Kehle, will include a mix of contemporary and traditional jazz tunes.  

“The concert will open with a great Kenny Dorham work called Minor’s Holiday followed with a work from the Berklee School of Music, Comp Time. We’ll have a Clifford Brown work titled Blues Walk, a jazz standard It Might As Well Be Spring, a classic by Sy Oliver called Well. Git It, and even a beautiful arrangement of the folk tune Shenandoah,” Kehle said. “There will be something for everyone.”  

Topping off the concert will be a new arrangement of the classic Christmas work “Greensleeves” and an encore presentation of the Charlie Daniels hit, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which was part of the ensemble’s September concert and featured champion fiddler Edith Sigler, a PSU music student. 

Nov. 19: The PSU Wind Ensemble 

The PSU Wind Ensemble will perform a virtual concert called "Sneak Peek" at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 19. It will be livestreamed with no live audience.  

Before the pandemic, the ensemble was chosen for the honor of performing at the 2021 Kansas Music Educator’s State Convention. That convention has moved to an online format, and the ensemble will be performing its concert virtually in February. This concert will be a preview, or "Sneak Peek," of the pieces the ensemble plans to perform for the convention.  

This concert also will include a composition by the late Barbara York, a noted composer who for many years has worked as a rehearsal and recital accompanist in the PSU Music Department and lost her battle with a terminal illness on Nov. 6. Her work, “River of Stars,” was written in 2019 for the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point bands in celebration of the 125th anniversary of UWSP.  

York wrote in her summary of the piece that it is “about vastness, movement through space, rotation, awe, and even at times the calm in the middle of the storm.”  

“I used photos of the Milky Way and even Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ as my inspiration,” she wrote. “We are past thinking that space and stars are sweet, twinkly, calm, and always beneficent. This is a more contemporary view of our understanding of what we see when we look up at night.”  

The ensemble is under the direction of Assistant Professor Andrew Chybowksi.