October 13, 2008

Musical groups plan fast-moving performance

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Hold the applause -- they aren’t stopping until the entire performance is complete.

The School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale presents “PRISM: The Renaissance,” a straight-through concert featuring the SIUC Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and more. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at Shryock Auditorium. Christopher Morehouse, director of the SIUC Wind Ensemble, explained that PRISM refers to a type of concert featuring seamless segues between elements of performance.

“It is a continuous performance offering different viewpoints of a topic -- in this case, the Renaissance,” he said. “It’s not just Renaissance music. The concert includes modern interpretations of the Renaissance as well.”

Morehouse recommends that concertgoers sit on the first floor -- not on the balcony -- and out toward the front – not under the balcony. The PRISM concert not only includes seamless segues and different interpretations, but uses the whole house to do it. The Wind Ensemble will be on stage, the SIUC Concert Choir in the pit, the Chamber Singers in the back of the hall, brass instruments in the balcony.

Anita Hutton, who some will recognize as the assistant to the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, is the guest organist. She will solo as well as accompany.

But why sit away from the balcony? In order to see better the sword-fight, of course. Visiting assistant professor of theater Jennifer Holcombe, a recent SIUC graduate, presents a Shakespearean sword fight, a serious one throughout the house, and a parody of a serious one in the balcony.

PRISM concerts are also known as Spectrum or Collage concerts. The concert type always features multiple songs and musical compositions in a continuous performance using the entire performance venue geography. The result is a fast-moving musical performance without breaks and with the constantly shifting focal points like the colors cast by a prism. The performance time will be just over one hour.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for students. PRISM is a U-card approved event. Tickets are available at the Shryock Auditorium box office before the event.