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Wednesday, Sep 22, 2021

Townsend to host annual homecoming Kaleidoscope Concert

Saturday is homecoming game night, but do you really need to wait until the game to be entertained? The Townsend School of Music begs to differ.

The annual Kaleidoscope concert is on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. in Fickling Hall.

“We will conclude in plenty of time for tailgating,” said Stanley Roberts, Mercer’s Choir director.

For those new to the tradition, the concert includes talent from Women’s Choir, Mercer Singers, the String Quartet from the McDuffie Center for strings and soloists.

“It is a way that visitors to campus, alumni and students can get a little sampling of the very things that we do here at the Townsend School of Music,” Roberts said.

The repertoire for the event might not include several songs the average music lover knows of, but Stanley assures that there will be multiple pieces that inspire people.

Mercer Singers is composed of both graduate and  undergraduate students. Roberts also puts location and acoustics in mind.

The Mercer Singers are constantly asked to perform for several events: family weekend, celebrations, churches and much more.

“I have to pick things that sound great depending on location,” he said. “There’s a process that’s very practical.”

Women’s choir travels much less than the Mercer Singers, but Roberts exclaims that the turnover is huge.

“You might have one semester a bunch of singers with varying skillsets and then the next semester is an entirely different group. You’re working with a variety of students,” he said.

It’s not just about selecting music that compliments the choir’s skills, but Roberts mentions that there is an essential education aspect he always considers. Exposing students to several styles of music is another thing he does.

“I need to give them things that give them a reservoir of repertoire that’s out there. It’s what I call the great literature chase. You’re always chasing literature,” Roberts said.

You might not know the selection, but Roberts said you should look out for three students playing a gigantic marimba. There are also 5 french horns that are playing a jazz/swing piece that Roberts think the audience can jive to.

At the end of the interview, Robert explained how the Kaleidoscope concert is more than just an annual homecoming concert.

Roberts implores us to live in the peace of music for about an  hour.

“Why not sit some place where you can be transformed by hearing finely tuned music with inspiration rather than just something out of a can?” he said.

“Our society has to find a way to rediscover true art and true peace,” Roberts said.


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