The music department is putting on a show that shouldn’t be missed by anyone, currently compiling Alumni, the previous and current faculty of Gustavus, and the current students at Gustavus to contribute.
The Inaugural concert set to celebrate the community and the Inauguration of President Rebecca M. Bergman, will take place this Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. in the Björling Recital Hall. Featuring performers dancing, singing, and playing a variety of instruments, it is one night that should not be missed.
Consisting of eight pieces to be performed throughout the night, the concert will feature pieces from Bach, Mozart, and a new piece created by Gustavus’ new Director of Jazz Ensembles, Dave Stamps. One piece featuring music from Takashi Yoshimatsu’s Tapiola Visions will have alumni, Philip Flickinger ’01 and Kelsey Hanstad ’14 dancing to the choreography designed by Michele Rusinko, Professor of Theatre and Dance. Another performance will feature several faculty singing to “Make Our Garden Grow” by Leonard Bernstein. Ranging from sopranos to bass-baritone the piece will be brought together by the piano playing of Yumiko Oshima-Ryan.
All of this leads up to the final piece, the original piece composed by Dave Stamps. Titled Convergence, the piece will feature eight players, in honor of Rebecca M. Bergman becoming the 17th president of Gustavus Adolphus College. Dave Stamps only recently became head of the jazz studies program after the retirement of Dr. Steve Wright, spoke of his original piece.
“The whole performance is going to be wonderful. I consider [Convergence] to be a fun piece and I hope by the end of the celebratory piece, the audience will be moving. Placing all of our time at Gustavus in one piece, the eight piece ensemble will be a fitting send off for Rebecca’s presidency,” Stamps said.
Alongside Stamps (who will be on Trombone) will be the previous head of the Jazz Studies program, Dr. Steve Wright on the trumpet. Music Professor Dr. Rick Orpen will be playing bass while James McGuire will be playing guitar. The piece also has the great honor of having Alumni Matt Bergman ’07 and Katherine Bergman playing the tenor and alto saxophone. Matt Berman just so happens to be the President’s son and Katherine is Rebecca’s daughter-in-law. This addition makes the piece even more special for Rebecca as the two met while attending Gustavus. Lastly, the drummer of the piece, Junior Chemistry Major Bryan Voight, will be the one current student playing in the Convergence piece, had this to say about the piece as a whole.
“It’s a modern jazz chart, and it’s a straight eighth groove that’s a mix between latin, funk, and rock. It’s really exciting and is an honor to participate in this ensemble, especially as I am going to play with two of Bergman’s children, GAC grads who were in the Gustavus Jazz Lab Band when they were here,” Voight said.
Scott Moore, the chair of the department of music, who has been at Gustavus for sixteen years, is considerably busy alongside with the rest of the department with the Nobel Conference and Christmas in Christ Chapel also approaching. The entirety of the concert was created in one week, as it happens to be just how fast the faculty was able to get everything together. Moore spoke to how amazed he is as always to see how committed the faculty and students are at Gustavus.
“We have a group of people here so talented and committed and are able to just do what is needed. We have the talent and community, and as humans we gravitate towards those who have picked up this positivity. It’s not like this at other schools, there is something both the faculty and students are striving for. I’m scared of just how talented our faculty and students are,” Moore said.
Lastly, he added how he believes this concert reflects what Gustavus can really be and what Rebecca Bergman may be looking for within a community.
“The concert provides a sense of community more than anything else and it’s in the hopes of what Rebecca Bergman is looking for. That being a group of people having a blast while getting things done,” Moore stated.
Looking to be a true showing of the Arts at Gustavus, the Inaugural Concert looks to be a onetime event that really shouldn’t be missed by anyone.