ASU Orchestras announces 2022–23 season of imagination, inclusion, collaboration

September 29, 2022

The 2022–23 ASU Orchestras season shows what a contemporary symphony orchestra can include within its programming aesthetic, said Jeffery Meyer, director of orchestras and associate professor in the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

“Our season is full of breadth, imagination, inclusion and collaboration with our guest artists,” Meyer said. Orchestra playing on a stage. ASU Symphony Orchestra Download Full Image

The ASU Orchestras include the Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, Chamber Orchestra and Studio Orchestra.

Meyer said each season’s guest artists are chosen on a variety of levels, from highlighting the school’s music faculty to upcoming and well-known guest artists and composers.

Highlights of this season include an October collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra and ASU piano faculty Cathal Breslin performing the epic Rachmaninoff "Piano Concerto No. 2" and Stravinsky’s “The Rites of Spring.” Later in the month, the symphony will perform “The Rites of Spring” in a concert with composer and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow Vijay Iyer as soloist on his own piano piece called “Radhe Radhe.”

Meyer said that “Radhe Radhe,” which was called “a surprising burst of visual and aural color — a romantically wrapped love letter to a people and their traditions” by Downbeat Magazine, is a stunning companion for “The Rites of Spring” and features the interplay of live music and film documenting the Hindu ritual of Holi. Themes of rebirth and celebration, of love and life, emerge in both concerts commemorating "The Rites of Spring."

In November, the symphony will collaborate with the Sun Devil Marching Band, the ASU Gospel Choir and ASU Gammage in a show featuring Gus Farwell, the former ASU quarterback-turned-tenor who received international recognition for singing from the balcony of his home in Barcelona while the world battled a global pandemic.

Next is a collaboration between the ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Philharmonia performing works by Bernstein and Brahms and featuring two world premieres by emerging young composers.

Following is a concert with the Chamber Orchestra highlighting graduate student emerging artists Tzu-I Yang on bass and Leon Jin on bassoon and three DMA conducting students.

In spring, a Black History Month collaboration with the Chamber Orchestra and Associate Professor and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain’s DBR lab features music alumna and popular music faculty Yophi Adia Bost along with theater and dance students.

In the first large-scale collaboration with the Visiting String Quartet Residency Program, the symphony performs with this year’s resident artists Brooklyn Rider for a concert centered around musical selections exploring major issues facing a global, interconnected society on a warming planet. As featured soloists, Brooklyn Rider will perform a powerful piece called “Contested Eden,” about the recent and historic forest fires in California.

The season closes with the ASU Choirs and music voice faculty performing one of the masterpieces of Western art music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and a new commissioned piece, “Fate Now Conquers,” by composer Carlos Simon, which was written as a companion piece for the Beethoven symphony. Simon, past winner of the ASU Gammage and former ASU School of Music Composition Competition, is a frequent commissioned composer for previous concerts, including “Towards a More Perfect Union” and “Graffiti.”

The ASU Philharmonia’s eclectic concert season, conducted by music director Julie Desbordes, aims to expand its audience with its diverse and exciting repertoire. It opens with honoring the string sections of the orchestra and a collaboration with the Tempe High School String Ensemble, with pieces from classical standards to those inspired by folk and even heavy metal. Next is a collaboration between the Philharmonia and the ASU Symphony Orchestra followed by a collaboration with the ASU Maroon and Gold Band. The final concert features the Phoenix Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, 2021–22 ASU composition competition winner Deanna Rusnock and ASU piano faculty and Professor Andrew Campbell.

“This season, Philharmonia students and community members will grow a depth of knowledge about a wide range of repertoire and musical inspirations while celebrating teamwork and collaborative efforts,” Desbordes said.

“My goal with the orchestras is to always reach our fingers into as many different pools of repertoire and composers as possible and also keep reinvigorating the canonical works and put them in new contexts and new lights,” Meyer said.

2022–23 Orchestras Season

ASU Philharmonia
7 p.m., Sept. 30
Tempe High School

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 and Stravinsky’s "Rites of Spring"
3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 2
Mesa Arts Center, Ikeda Theatre       
Tickets: $12 and $20. Purchase tickets.   

ASU Symphony Orchestra with Vijay Iyer
"Radhe Radhe" and Stravinsky’s "Rites of Spring"
7:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15
ASU Gammage
Tickets $12. Purchase tickets.       

ASU Studio Orchestra
Mozart Symphony No. 40 and other masterworks
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26
Katzin Concert Hall 
Free admission

Gridiron to ASU Gammage: A Musical Celebration of the Sun Devil Spirit featuring Gus Farwell
7:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 4
ASU Gammage 
Free admission. Reserve tickets.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Philharmonia
"The Power of Youth"
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Chamber Orchestra
Concerto Competition Prize Winners
7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1
ASU Gammage
Tickets $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Symphony Orchestra
Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Boulanger
3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12
Yavapai College Performing Arts Center
7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13
ASU Gammage. Purchase tickets.
Tickets $12 

ASU Maroon & Gold Band and Philharmonia
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Chamber Orchestra Strings
"Reflections of Hope and Home” in collaboration with DBR Lab
7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27
Organ Hall
Free admission

ASU Symphony Orchestra and Brooklyn Rider
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 5
ASU Gammage 
Tickets $12. Purchase tickets

ASU Studio Orchestra
Petrushka and Pagliacci
7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 20
Katzin Concert Hall
Free admission        

ASU Philharmonia: "Blossom"
7:30 p.m., Monday, April 24
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

ASU Symphony Orchestra and ASU Choirs
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
7:30 p.m., Friday, April 28
ASU Gammage
Tickets: $12. Purchase tickets.

For ASU Gammage ticketed events, tickets are available for $12 at the ASU Gammage Box Office or can be purchased online at Ticketmaster (fees apply). All students with ASU, college or school ID receive one complimentary ticket and all HIDA faculty and staff receive two complimentary tickets. Complimentary tickets can be picked up at the box office prior to the event and during all normal business hours.

All Herberger Institute students, faculty and staff and Mirabella residents are eligible for complimentary tickets to most events ticketed through the Herberger Institute box office. Click buy tickets to obtain your complimentary tickets using your 10-digit ASU ID as the promo code.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


Techiepalooza helps shape startups to prepare for launch

September 29, 2022

Phoenix-area “techies” seeking opportunities and venture founders looking for startup support gathered at Techiepalooza, a special event to help get startups off the ground.

The event built on last year’s inaugural event that brought together a growing community of techies and entrepreneurs among Arizona State University students, alumni and community members after a similarly-styled event of the same name in 2012. Man holding papers and woman smiling at him. Jasmine Amoako-Agyei (right), a senior business major with a focus on sustainability in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU and the founder of Countdown: Circular Economy Solutions — a firm focused on tackling plastic pollution in West Africa — was one of the many startup founders at the recent Techiepalooza. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU Download Full Image

Hool Coury Law Professor of Entrepreneurship Brent Sebold, a faculty member in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU, hosted the gathering, helping to inspire everyone to get into the entrepreneurial mindset and to think like a startup founder. He says the best way to learn how to think like a founder is to jump in and start working with one.

Sebold, director of Entrepreneurship + Innovation at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and director for ASU’s transdisciplinary Master of Science in Innovation and Venture Development program, says Techiepalooza is designed to help launch such collaborations. Startup founders get involved with the hope of finding prospective partners with the technical know-how needed to strengthen their startup team by filling the talent and skill gaps the founders may discover as they get their ventures off the ground.

“One of the things we’ve been working on for the past decade is bringing together technical folks with venture leaders and startup founders,” Sebold says. “And we see a lot of those folks coming from not only engineering but also from the W. P. Carey School of Business and many of the schools at ASU. They are coming together to form really impactful startup founding teams.”

Jasmine Amoako-Agyei speaking at Techiepalooza

Jasmine Amoako-Agyei (right), a startup founder and Arizona State University student, says that as a founder and a student, it is always helpful to simply chat with professors like Brent Sebold (left) or other students about your goals and what you aim to do. Those are the people, she says, who may be able to point you in the right direction. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

Launching a startup as a student

Jasmine Amoako-Agyei, a senior business major with a focus on sustainability in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU, was among the startup founders at the recent Techiepalooza. Amoako-Agyei’s venture is Countdown: Circular Economy Solutions, a social startup taking a community-centered approach to tackling the global plastic pollution challenge.

Amoako-Agyei, who is also a participant in Venture Devils and has worked in The Luminosity Lab and with the Engineering Projects in Community Service program, better known as EPICS, says that events like Techiepalooza are great ways to share what ventures like the Countdown startup are about and to spread the word about ASU’s entrepreneurial community.

“Though I am not an engineering major, I have been fortunate to have previous professional experience leading engineering projects with a specific focus on technology and sustainable product design in the United States and in Ghana,” Amoako-Agyei says. “My experiences working within Luminosity Lab and EPICS have both been fantastic.”

Through The Luminosity Lab, Amoako-Agyei got involved with interdisciplinary teams, engaged in rapid prototyping sprints and worked under the guidance of industry professionals who mentored her throughout the process.

In her EPICS project, she had the opportunity to lead and guide a team of talented ASU students whose studies spanned across several engineering disciplines.

“As a team, we have been able to cultivate an enthusiastic, welcoming and supportive culture where we prioritize having fun while learning at every step of the process,” Amoako-Agyei says. “We have grown alongside each other and I am forever grateful for their contributions and commitment to Countdown.”

Amoako-Agyei says that she loves networking with other founders to learn more about their processes.

“I believe the most valuable takeaway was the chance to meet new students who were eager to learn more about our process and operations,” she says. “There are some who are particularly interested in certain projects we have going on and I look forward to potentially working with them.”

Amoako-Agyei says learning about the support and growth of the startup ecosystem in Arizona was invaluable for student founders like her.

“The speakers at this event emphasized taking advantage of the abundance of investors and funding capital available to those willing to pitch,” Amoako-Agyei says. “Knowing that there is a whole ecosystem that is growing out here in Arizona is incredibly exciting as we take steps to join in and share our business ideas with the world.”

Michael Hool speaking at Techiepalooza

Michael Hool, founder and managing partner of Hool Coury Law, spoke at Techiepalooza about the importance of being committed as a startup founder. He also reinforced that Arizona State University is a great place for entrepreneurship. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

Wisdom and guidance to create successful startups

Michael Hool, the founder and managing partner of Hool Coury Law and an associate professor in ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, started the 2022 Techiepalooza event by talking about the purpose of the event and the history of the entrepreneurial mindset at ASU.

“You should be encouraged if you’re just starting out, or if you have an idea and you’re kind of trying to figure out how to put a team together,” Hool said. “This event is designed so the engineering and technical students can mix with business folks, giving students opportunities to meet each other and potentially form teams and, who knows, maybe grow some companies.”

Hool encouraged the participants, telling them that it is possible to build a successful startup at ASU.

“We’ve launched a lot of companies out of here,” Hool said. “So think about the future, not just right now. Think about where you’re going and where you can be because you can do it from here. We can help you, and all the programs and entrepreneurship opportunities that are at ASU will come alongside you.”

One of those opportunities is the Fulton Schools Hool Coury Law Tech Venture Challenge. The challenge is open to select entrepreneurial teams that have at least one founder affiliated with a startup-focused course or program within ASU’s Fulton Schools and is a biannual competition that aims to strategically launch early stage technology ventures that solve a problem in the marketplace.

Rachel Stewart, founder and CEO of Xcelerate Restoration Software, speaking into a microphone.

Rachel Stewart, founder and CEO of Xcelerate Restoration Software, talked about finding the right people to join your team, who can see the blind spots a founder may have. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

Rachel Stewart, founder and CEO of Xcelerate Restoration Software, shared her experiences in deciding to form a software company.

“I will say to all of you here who are trying to find that marriage between a founder who understands the space and someone who has that technical resource — that marriage is so important because I really understood the market and I understood the customer, but where I had huge blind spots is on the technical side,” Stewart said during the event’s opening remarks.

Finding the right connection between the two is “extremely powerful” according to Stewart, “especially if you have them as a cofounder, because then you know that they’re totally invested in the success of the company as well.”

Techiepalooza speakers emphasized that the world of startups is a marathon and not a sprint. As a founder and entrepreneur, they said, you need a lot of emotional resilience and a lot of grit.

“I was one of those people who always liked big challenges,” Stewart says. “But you will discover it’s a roller coaster. Some days you just think like there’s no stopping us and there’s nothing that’s going to get in our way of just being wildly successful. And five days later, you’re like, oh my gosh, we’re going to fail. That is the entrepreneur startup founder journey, so you have to be prepared to have some emotional resilience, something that keeps you high when things are low.”

Instilling investor confidence to back student founders

Benjamin Brockwell, principal at AZ-VC, Arizona’s largest venture capital fund, was on hand to share the perspective of the venture capital side of the entrepreneurial startup journey.

One thing Brockwell emphasized is making sure startup founders, specifically those who are current students, are fully prepared for what level of commitment they need to make their ventures successful and to appeal to venture capitalists.

Benjamin Brockwell, principal at AZ-VC, speaking into a microphone.

Benjamin Brockwell, principal at AZ-VC, emphasized the importance of being fully committed to their ventures at Techiepalooza. Photo by Erika Gronek/ASU

“One thing investors look for and have to decide is whether or not the student is going to continue with this long term,” Brockwell said to the Techiepalooza attendees. “That’s the biggest fear that an investor has in student-led startups. Ultimately, we’re betting on you guys.”

Brockwell explained that he’s had at least a dozen conversations in which someone pitches him their entire business plan, but that as an investor, it was too soon in the process for them to invest in the venture. So they then ask for an internship or a job.

“It’s one of these things that every single time kind of just like shocks me,” Brockwell said. “They are asking for our capital support, but at the same time, they’re willing to jump ship if another opportunity presented itself. Be ready to prove to your investors that you are in for the long haul.”

Hool also talked about some founders who started out winning a few thousand dollars at startup competitions, but went on to make millions.

“If you are committed, then that’s where you will end up. You’ll have a lot of naysayers telling you things that you can’t do,” Hool said. “But the reality is, yes, you can do it. The resources that are here and people who are like-minded, like me and Brent (Sebold), will come alongside you and will help you.”

Erik Wirtanen

Web content comm administrator, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering