'Cabaret' leads October's musical calendar at FHSU

October will be the first full month of the musical season at Fort Hays State University, and it opens with a bang -- the Tony Award winning musical "Cabaret."

Set in pre-war Nazi Germany, this musical follows a love story through the decadence of 1930s Berlin as the Nazis consolidate their hold on power and the people.

"It will be an entertaining yet powerful piece that will inspire all who see it," said Brenda Meder, one of the directors.

"This piece has quality traditional music as well as theatre works at its finest. It will be very earthy and highly charged," she said.

Terry Crull, instructor of music, will be the musical director.

The two weekends of "Cabaret" begin at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, at the start of Homecoming celebrations. All performances will be in Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall on the FHSU campus. The second of three Homecoming weekend performances will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and the third will be a 2:30 p.m. showing on Sunday, Oct. 2.

The second weekend begins at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, with a second performance at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, and an afternoon performance at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.

"This is the first musical theatre event of the department’s concert season," said Crull. "This piece has quality traditional music as well as theatre works at its finest."

Jayson Taylor, assistant professor of art, plays the emcee. Sally Bowles is played by Andrea Crees, Hays special student. Mario Lazoya plays Clifford Bradshaw. Jarrett Henson, Ulysses freshman, plays Ernst Ludwig.

Other cast members are Laura Decker, Lindsborg junior, as Fraulein Schneider; Callie Schlegel, WaKeeney freshman, as Fraulein Kost; Bill Brown, Topeka, as Herr Schultz; and John Simmonds, McDonald sophomore, as Max.

The cabaret girls are Alicia Giersch, Hays senior; Rachel Gottschalk, Hays freshman; Krystle Krug, Russell junior; Stefanie Stevens, Hays sophomore; Alexandra Walston, Wichita freshman; Sami Wendell, Republican City, NE, freshman; Jennifer Wilson, Colby junior; and Shelly Wolf, Medora.

The cabaret boys are Shane Pelzel, Larned freshman, and Joseph Galante, Hays senior.

Tickets for "Cabaret" are $10 for adults and $8 for students ages 12-17. FHSU students are admitted free with student ID.

FHSU's concert season formally opened Sept. 15 with the annual Faculty Showcase Recital, held this year in Palmer Recital Hall. The occasion was also the opening of the newly renovated Palmer Hall, which over the summer was given a new stage, new seating, fresh paint and a new sound system.

"I think the upcoming season is going to be a spectacular one," said Matt Means, interim chair of the Department of Music. He listed the three choirs -- the Concert Choir, the Women's Chorale and the Fort Hays Singers -- the Symphonic Winds and the Wind Ensembles, the Brass Choir and the Jazz Ensembles and the Hays Symphony Orchestra. Add in faculty and guest recitals, the department puts on about 40 major scheduled concerts in the academic year.

Student recitals are scheduled every Thursday, each of them open and free to the public.

"It's going to be an exciting year, musically," said Means. "The Hays Symphony Orchestra is currently undergoing what I would call a renaissance. We have four brand new faculty members, all of them stellar. There's a tremendous amount of positive energy around the department right now."

He also pointed to a great deal of "ad hoc" activity in the Music Department. The Jazz Ensemble plays many Fridays at Gella's and during weekends at Semolino and frequently at the Hays Public Library.

"The public library has become another public venue for us," he said.

Several other musical events are also scheduled in October.

Steve Traylor's Guest Trombone Recital is scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 10 in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

Traylor is a professional musician who teaches and performs bass trombone, tuba, and tenor trombone in Denver. He grew up in Burlington, KS, and graduated from Emporia State University with a bachelor's degree of music in music education. After teaching in Kansas, he moved to Colorado, eventually attending the University of Denver and earning an MBA with a marketing emphasis and a master of music in bass trombone performance.

He is the director of the Pioneer Pep Band at the University of Denver, instructor of low brass at the Boulder Arts Academy and band director for the Boulder Valley Schools.

His accompanist, Thomas H. Giomi began playing piano at the age of 10. He was accepted and awarded a full scholarship to participate in the Aspen Music Festival at the age of 17, where he studied with Virginia Westrom, Michigan University, and Nancy Stessin and John Nowman, both of The Julliard School. He earned a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music, studying with world renowned pianist Alice Rybak. Continuing his studies at the University of Denver, he received his master's degree in piano performance in 2004. He was invited to perform during the International Trumpet Guild held at the Robert and Judy Newman Center for the Performing Arts in Denver. Giomi maintains a teaching studio at the Evergreen School of Music in Evergreen, CO, and is the accompanist for the Waldorf School of Denver.

Traylor and Giomi will perform "Cameos," by Gordon Jacob; "Etre Ou Ne Pas Etre," by Henri Tomasi; "Four Comments," by Allan Blank; "Lieder eines Fahrenden Gesellen" ("Songs of a Wayfarer"), by Gustav Mahler; and "Concerto for Bass Trombone," by Eric Ewazen.

Tickets for Traylor are $6 for adults and $4 for students ages 12-17. FHSU students are admitted free with student ID.

The three choirs of the Department of Music -- Concert Choir, Women's Chorale and the Fort Hays Singers -- will perform at 8 p.m. Oct. 16 in Beach/Schmidt.

This is the first student event of the concert season. This concert will feature different styles of music such as: a cappella, Brahms Motet, Renaissance, 20th-century and others. The pieces which will be performed will represent a variety of periods, as well as a variety of tempos and musical styles.

"This event will also display all vocal ranges and their skills," said Terry Crull, choir director. "Attendance at this event would be great for the educational enjoyment of listeners who have a passion for singing. It will also be great for novice listeners."

"I believe in a choral concert that will satisfy three goals: great music -- that's my job; great sound -- the choir's job; and great fun -- that's everyone's job – conductor, singer and audience," said Crull.

"This will be an inspiring event, even though it will only last an hour," he said.

The performance will feature "Haste Thee, Nymph," by George Frederic Handel; "Here's One," by Mark Hayes; "I Hear A Voice A-prayin'," by Houston Bright; "Neighbors' Chorus," by Jacques Offenbach; "Plorate Filii Israel," by Giacomo Carissimi; "Star Spangled Banner"; "Stomp Your Foot," by Aaron Copland; and "You Are The New Day," by Peter Knight.

The Women's Chorale will perform "There Is Sweet Music," by Daniel E. Gawthrop, and "Over The Rainbow," by Harold Arlen.

The Fort Hays Singers, selected from the Concert Choir, will perform "Deo Gratias," by Noel Goemanne; "Fire In The Furnace," by Kirby Shaw (with a special appearance from FHSU President Edward H. Hammond); "Il Est Bel Et Bon," by Passereau; "Praise To The Lord, The Almighty," by Hugh Distler; "Sicut Cervus," by Palestrina; "Three Hungarian Folk Songs," by Bela Bartok; and "Wondrous Cool," by Johnannes Brahms.

Tickets for the Choirs Concert are $6 for adults and $4 for students ages 12-17. FHSU students are admitted free with student ID.

Also coming up in October is the first concert of the Hays Symphony Orchestra, at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 23 in Beach/Schmidt. Jeff Jordan, assistant professor of music, is the interim conductor.

The Wind Ensemble, under David Kassler, assistant professor of music, will be in concert at 8 p.m. Oct. 27.

Tickets for both these concerts are $6 for adults and $4 for students ages 12-17. FHSU students are admitted free with student ID.

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Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu