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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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SDSU Musicians Perform Mega Concert Downtown

More than 250 SDSU performers will take over Copley Symphony Hall to support music education scholarships.
By Lizbeth Persons Price

San Diego State University’s premier orchestral and wind ensembles will join forces with the Aztec Concert Choir to present an evening unlike any other for San Diego music lovers.

Featuring more than 250 musicians, this mega-concert performance — fittingly called DOWNTOWN — will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15, in the state-of-the-art Jacobs Music Center in historic Copley Symphony Hall. 

Tickets are available on the San Diego Symphony website.

About the event

The audience will be welcomed to Copley Symphony Hall by the SDSU Marching Band, after which the musicians and choir will perform works by Richard Wagner, Vaughan Williams, Leonard Bernstein and a world premiere by Brent Dutton. The performance will culminate in the glorious "Ode to Joy," the final movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. 

With support from donors through SDSU's Strive crowdfunding platform and the San Diego Unified School District’s Visual and Performing Arts program, SDSU will provide 300 complimentary tickets and transportation to DOWNTOWN for local middle school and high school students. 

Nearly 65 percent of all music teachers in San Diego County are SDSU music education alumni. They impact more than 10,000 students each year. Proceeds from DOWNTOWN will support the San Diego Symphony and SDSU fund for students studying music education at SDSU.

"With regional schools offering arts curriculum once again, music educators are in high demand,” said Joyce Gattas, dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. “At SDSU we are working to prepare future music teachers to meet the growing demand. Providing scholarship support for music education majors will help to meet the workforce needs of San Diego schools.”

About SDSU performance ensembles

Although primarily comprised of music majors, the SDSU Wind Symphony, under the direction of Shannon Kitelinger, is open to all university wind and percussion players by audition. The Wind Symphony has commissioned numerous works by prominent composers, including: Alan Hovhannes, David Ward-Steinman, Warner Hutchinson and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Karel Husa.

The Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Gerdes, performs repertoire that represents many musical styles and historical contexts. Membership is through audition and is open to all qualified students regardless of major.

The Aztec Concert Choir, led by Patrick Walders, features both male and female singers and is open to all qualified students.

About the School of Music and Dance

The study of music was an early area of concentration at SDSU. A music professor was among the first seven professors hired shortly after the university was chartered in 1897.

By 1907 the Department of Music began conferring degrees. Its commitment to excellence in artistic innovation fostered a long legacy of educational and musical leadership for the program. Today, it flourishes as the SDSU School of Music and Dance. 

The SDSU School of Music and Dance presents more than 200 concerts, recitals and dance performances each year. More information can be found on the school’s website, by calling 619-594-1017 or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.