A new kind of ensemble will debut at Hart Recital Hall on the University of Central Missouri campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Free and open to the public, this music performance brings together the talents of UCM Music faculty and students to perform a widely hailed 20th-century masterpiece, Steve Reich’s “Music for 18 Musicians."

“The Faculty-Student Chamber Ensemble was born out of two needs:  the need to give our students the regular opportunity to play small, mixed-group chamber music at an advanced level, and the need for our experienced performing faculty to step out of the audience and onto the stage to make music together with their students — not as their superiors, but as fellow musicians trying to find the best way together to bring music to life,” said ensemble founder and director Dr. Albert Kim.

“To my knowledge it’s been quite some time since this kind of equal-footed collaboration has happened here, as it did during the Sight/Sound Festivals at CMSU during the ‘60s and ‘70s."

The choice of Steve Reich’s conductorless music for the Faculty-Student Chamber Ensemble’s first project “was a no-brainer,” Kim noted. “Not only does this piece showcase every one of our performing areas interacting on their own guidance — piano, percussion, winds, strings, voices, and music technology — but the original idea for doing ‘Music for 18

Musicians’ at UCM came from our colleague Dr. Beth Stimpert, who has played the work many times with leading professional groups, including with Steve Reich himself.”
Music faculty members Stimpert, Kim, and Dr. Alex Smith are co-directing rehearsals for the performance and will all play during the concert on Feb. 27.

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As a non-curricular ensemble, the group has received grant support from UCM’s Center for Digital Learning and Instructional Innovation, as well as generous logistical support from Digital Media Production and the School of Visual and Performing Arts.  Future performances will feature classical chamber music alongside more modern works, and plans are being laid for the possibility of traveling and family-oriented concerts as well.

Performers during the debut event will include Jeremy Brown, violin, and Bennett Shay-Zapien, cello; Nik Baumert, Katie Brunkhorst, Theresa Peterson, and Mary Scott, vocals; Emily Westerman and Elisabeth Stimpert, clarinets; Sam Hoyer, Sam Panico, Hana Oshima, Joey Stewart, and Albert Kim, pianos; Bennett Roustio, Caden LeBlanc, Matthew Gannon, Tommylee Blackburn, Grant Harmon, Walker Holden, Lauren Channel, and Alex Smith, percussion; and Keith Wecker (music technology).

No tickets are required.  For more information, e-mail inquiries to Dr. Albert Kim at akim@ucmo.edu

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