Kaleidoscope Concert offers diverse musical samples

Rebecca Carvalho

When playing with a kaleidoscope, you never know what will come next: different pictures, different colors or different emotions. You can expect to have the same experience this Saturday night at the Conservatory’s Kaleidoscope Concert, which will be held at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center at 8:00 p.m.
At the concert, which was last assembled two years ago, about 300 Lawrence students will be performing, some of them for the first time, like Cuong Cao Nguyen. “The Kaleidoscope Concert is an exact reflection of the Lawrence University community,” he said. This is also Nguyen’s first year at Lawrence, and so far he has been quite impressed. “Every single person’s commitment and passion always blows me away,” he said.
Nguyen, who intends to major in music and minor in government, explains the combination as part of his philosophy of “Walking artistically and playing music critically.”
The performers will present a 75-minute spectacle of uninterrupted performance, bringing to the audience great composers such as Paul Dukas, John Corigliano, Gioacchino Rossini, Tchaikovsky and Lawrence’s own Fred Sturm, director of jazz studies and improvisational music.
Designed to surprise, the concert will showcase pieces of composers from different parts of the globe. Nguyen, who is Vietnamese, will be playing percussion with the Sambistas, as part of the “Brazilian Batucada” presentation. “This is my first time playing percussion,” he said. “The beat is great, all the percussionists are amazing. People will see a lot of different things that the Conservatory of Music of Lawrence University has to offer — it will truly be a music festival.”
The directors of the Kaleidoscope Concert agree. “It is meant to open a window for the power of music and visual arts. It will be a surprise where the next music will come from,” explained Professor Richard Bjella, professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies. “I think the idea is to present a taste, like a food sampler. We will present the best food on the menu,” he said.
The main idea of the Kaleidoscope Concert is not just to entertain. Through its imaginative staging that will place performers in several different locations inside the P.A.C, the concert will let the public try multiple pieces of music. “If you think any kind of music is important, this is going to be the right place for you!” said Bjella.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for senior citizens and students and are available at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Box Office.