November 02, 2015

SIU Music Showcase set for Paducah on Nov. 10

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – It’s partly about renewing friendships and strengthening connections, it’s partly about making new friends – but mostly it’s about music. 

Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s School of Music presents an SIU Music Showcase at the Luther F. Carson Center for the Performing Arts in Paducah beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. The event is free and open to the public. A seating section is reserved for SIU alumni. 

The showcase features the Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Altgeld Chamber Players and the SIU Studio Jazz Orchestra, as well as scenes from opera and musical theater, including from the recent production of “The Addams Family.” A special salute to veterans is also part of the evening’s program. 

Eric Lenz, interim director of the School of Music, said the Carson Center is “one of the most beautiful and acoustically gratifying auditoriums in the region” and he is excited for SIU students to have the chance to play there. 

Lenz has personal experience with the joys of playing the Carson Center; he’s been the principal cello with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra since 2008. Other members of School of Music faculty in the PSO are: Michael Barta, professor of violin; Jennifer Presar, senior lecturer, French horn; and Metiney Suwanawongse, lecturer, violin. 

Lenz noted that Carbondale residents frequently visit Paducah for shows and concerts. He hopes this showcase might convince some Paducah residents to make the trip to Carbondale for the same reasons. 

“Hopefully, western Kentucky fans of SIU and the performing arts will consider attending some of the many wonderful events on our beautiful campus in the future,” he said. 

SIU System President Randy Dunn and Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell will be on hand to welcome concert attendees. 

“We are proud of our many connections in western Kentucky and southern Illinois – from alumni to friends to current and future students,” Dunn said. “This event is an opportunity to say thank you to those who have been part of the SIU community in the past and to welcome those who would like to get to know us. You don’t have to have an SIU connection to join us and enjoy the significant talents of our School of Music.”

The university hopes this event will attract high school and transfer students interested in learning more about attending SIU. The university and schools in the western Kentucky region already have a strong relationship. For example, SIU recently signed an articulation agreement with West Kentucky Community and Technical College, including the Paducah campus, to benefit students in visual arts, and has similar agreements to benefit students in automotive technology, general/occupational technical studies and general education. 

Prospective students and their families are welcome at a pre-concert reception beginning at 6 p.m. The reception includes an admissions information session, student panel and an academic college fair. For more information on the prospective student reception, contact Amber Rivers at or 618/453-2988.