Conservatory events initiate new students into Lawrence music scene

Devin Burke

This week, many of those students who are new to campus have only a glimmer of an idea of what’s in store for them. If they are conservatory students, they are coming expecting to be virtually immersed in music. If they are not conservatory students, they will soon realize how prominent a part music has at Lawrence.Two events during New Student Week provide freshmen with a chance to jump into the musical side of Lawrence life. The first, an evening recital of outstanding conservatory students, is a new event this year. The second, the New Student Week Choir, remains a hallmark of New Student Week. Hundreds of freshmen have passed through its ranks and found themselves standing together in front of their peers on the Chapel stage at the Matriculation Convocation.

On Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m., the conservatory will present the first recital of the year. The concert features outstanding conservatory students such as Tim Schmidt, who sang the lead role in last year’s Lawrence production of Puccini’s “Gianni Schicci.”

On the more inclusive side, the New Student Week Choir is an ensemble that is open to anyone, whether or not you have any prior musical experience. Led by Lawrence Concert Choir director Richard Bjella, this special choir performs each year. Bjella and the opportunity to perform in a choir often draw singers and non-singers, freshmen and upperclassmen alike.

These two events will make it clear how easy it is to participate in music at Lawrence. Soon, Harper Hall will house recitals, the newly-remodeled Chapel stage will present concerts, the Coffeehouse season will begin again, the bands will play on, and music will fill the campus for another year.