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ASU musicians now playing your local venue

August 11, 2011

Give Timothy Russell and Gary W. Hill an empty stage, fill it with chairs and music stands, invite some musicians, and they are happy campers.

Russell, a conductor of the ASU Symphony Orchestra, and Hill, director of ensemble studies in ASU’s School of Music, love to make music. And the more audiences they play for, the better. “We simply love to share our music,” Russell said.

This year, Russell, Hill and their colleagues will bring the music of ASU students to a wider audience, thanks to new partnerships with the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Musical Instrument Museum and Tempe Center for the Arts.

At the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, for example, the School of Music will present a concert 16 Monday-evening concerts, beginning Aug. 22 and continuing through April 2, focusing on a variety of music styles from piano to choral to new music.

Tickets for this series, titled “ASU Concerts at The Center,” are $10, and each 7:30 p.m. event includes a pre-concert discussion with one of the performers. Students with ID cards can attend free.

The first event in this series, on Aug. 22, is “Opera and Operetta Extravaganza,” which features ASU faculty artists Carole FitzPatrick, Russell Ryan and Dale Dreyfoos, with former faculty member Robert Barefield, performing some of the greatest hits and most exciting rarities from the opera, operetta and musical theater repertoire.

At the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, a number of ASU faculty and students from the School of Music, perform in the Musical Interlude series.

These free concerts take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, with the first event of the season set for Aug. 31. Performing will be Nancy Buck, viola , and Larry Loeber, piano, in a concert titled “Tea at Two-thirty: English Music for Viola and Piano.”

The Tempe Center for the Arts will see numerous ASU music faculty members and students in the coming year, ranging from the free Performance With a View series to the Lakeshore Jazz and Chamber Music series, which have an admission charge.

In addition, said Mary Fowler, a TCA representative, “The Tempe Symphony Orchestra has numerous ASU members. Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic and Songwriters' Showcase feature faculty and students.”

The first Performance With a View concert featuring ASU faculty is Tuesday, Sept. 20, when the Tetra Quartet performs at 10 a.m.

In addition to the three concert venues, students and faculty will perform several times throughout the year at Valley Presbyterian Church and Camelback Bible Church, and there’s even a concert in the Verde Valley. (Oct. 15: The ASU Symphony Orchestra will present a program titled “Orchestra Masterworks: From Fairytales to Life’s Deepest Pondering,” at 7:30 p.m. at Mingus Union High School, 1801 E. Fir St., Cotttonwood.

Though it might seem as if the faculty and student musicians have added numerous events to their already busy schedule of more than 300 performances and student recitals at the School of Music’s venues and ASU Gammage, the number of concerts hasn’t increased – just the number of locations, said Hill.

“We really aren't adding concerts; we simply are playing more of our concerts in different venues. Frankly, I think this is a positive on many levels. There are people who will attend events in Scottsdale that they would not travel to Tempe to see.”

And, “taking the show on the road” is only fair to those whose taxes help pay for ASU, said Russell. “Personally I believe that state-assisted universities have the great privilege of giving back to the citizens who support us.

These concerts are one way to do this. Music continues to touch hearts, enlarge minds, and ennoble spirits. It is our joy and pleasure to make music, which enriches the lives of friends of ASU in the Valley of the Sun.”

Hill added, “It's important that we take our terrific students out and meet people where they live, at least a part of the time, as well as continue to perform regularly in Gammage Auditorium. The staff at ASU Public Events has been wonderful in assisting us with our performance logistics, whether we're at Gammage or traveling to another venue.

“In short, true community engagement entails many things, including concert-giving, and generally means leaving the campus. I'm delighted we have the opportunity to partner with these venues and look forward to meeting and performing for some new friends!”

Kimberly Marshall, director of the School of Music, said, “One of my greatest pleasures as director of the ASU Herberger Institute School of Music is finding new ways to disseminate the outstanding work of our faculty and students.

“We are extremely fortunate to live in a thriving urban area with many professional arts organizations and performing venues. Our students and faculty are delighted to partner with the MIM, SCPA, and Tempe Center to present their work this season.”

For a complete schedule of ASU concerts at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, go to

For information about ASU events at the Tempe Center for the Arts, go to For Musical Instrument Museum listings, go to To see a calendar of musical events on ASU’s Tempe campus, go to

The School of Music is part of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.