25th Anniversary Concert

By:
Darcy Force

Southwestern Adventist University will celebrate the 25th annual tradition of the Music Festival finale concert with the world premiere of Kim André Arnesen’s newest composition for choir, brass, and the Herman W. and Amelia H. Lay Family Concert Organ.  Written specifically for the University’s Meyerson concert, Arnesen will be on hand during the festival to work with the singers to prepare them for the A Night at the Meyerson concert.            

Arnesen is one of the most performed classical composers from Norway today.  He grew up in Trondheim and started at the music school at the age of 6, playing the piano.  By the age of 10, Arnesen had started singing in the Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir.  He was further educated at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim.  As a composer, he first performance was in 1999 with the boys’ choir.  Since then, Arnesen’s work has been performed by choirs all over the world!

In addition, the evening will feature Emily Levin, the new principal harpist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  Levin is an award-winning harpist, Juilliard graduate, and has traveled the world with her harp.  She is the youngest principal harpist of a major American orchestra.

The concert will take place on Sunday, February 11 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas.  It will feature hundreds of talented high school musicians from all over the United States and the 2018 music finalists, top high school musicians who audition for the honor.  

Last year’s concert raised nearly $50,000, a new record for this event.  The proceeds benefit music scholarships and the Music Department, allowing the faculty to provide an enriched experience for the students participating in the department’s four major ensembles.  The University Singers, one of the major ensembles of the Music Department, even travel all over the world to perform.

“Travelling with the choir is such an enlightening experience – it really opened my eyes, refined my ambitions,” shared Astrid Partida, 2017 graduate nursing major.  “It also gives us the opportunity to share beauty.  Sometimes we don’t speak the same language as our audiences but music breaks through all barriers.”

Southwestern Adventist University first began the annual tradition of a music festival in 1963. At the 30th anniversary, the University started a new tradition: hosting the finale concert off-campus at one of the premier concert halls in the DFW area. For the first several years, the festival concert alternated between Bass Hall in Fort Worth and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. With the continued growth of the festival, the concert outgrew Bass Hall and is now solely performed at the Meyerson.

Learn more about the Music Department’s faculty and events at swau.edu/music.