Oct. 29, 1998
Vol. 18, No. 3

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    Conductor to lead orchestra down the Nile

    When was the last time you saw an orchestra conductor enter a music hall in a giant bubble? If your answer is last Halloween, then you know the revelry that will accompany the 12th annual University Symphony Orchestra Halloween Concert, Saturday, Oct. 31, in Mandel Hall.

    Barbara Schubert, Music Director and Conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and a Senior Lecturer in the Music Department, will again lead the holiday festivities and conduct in costume. She and the orchestra members will dress in accordance with this year's theme: Tales of Egypt, and audience members are encouraged to come in costume as well.

    Schubert has chosen music that evokes thoughts of the Nile, such as Verdi's Triumphal March and Ballet from AOda, Meditation from Massenet's ThaOs, Arensky's Nuit d'Egypte, Luigi's Ballet ..gyptien and John Williams' Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    "This year's Halloween concert showcases the late 19th-century composers' interest in exotic, oriental subjects and authentic musical material," Schubert said.

    The orchestra will perform twice, at 7 p.m. and at 9 p.m. The first performance tends to draw families with younger children, said Kristine Kohler-Hall, Musical Performance Assistant for the Student Performing Program.

    "Everyone enjoys seeing the children in costume," said Kohler-Hall, who sends invitations to all children who attend elementary schools in Hyde Park.

    University students tend to go to the later performance, Kohler-Hall said. For the first time, the Music Department will sponsor a contest for Chicago students. The students with the largest percentage of attendees from one house will receive tickets to a University Symphony Orchestra concert and a $40 voucher for pizza.

    Students will be asked to sign forms at the door, and the winners will be announced in the week following the concert.

    Another first is an appearance by the University-sponsored, student organization Fusion Performance Group, an interpretative dance ensemble led by Doug Wood, a Senior Research Scientist in Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology who also volunteers as Artistic Director for the dance group. Both small ensemble and solo dance will be incorporated into the concert, with costumes and choreography appropriate to the Egyptian theme.

    The performance is free, but donations of $5 for adults and $3 for students and children will be accepted at the door. For more information, call (773) 702-8069.