The University of Tennessee at Martin Department of Music’s fall concert schedule has offered a variety of options for differing musical tastes. Recently, the department offered a live salsa band, an evening of choir music and a marching band exhibition in the same afternoon.
The department partnered with the Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs and others to bring Lalo and Friends, a Nashville-based salsa band, to campus Oct. 4 in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The ensemble performed in the university quadrangle as part of the Ed Sargent Guest Artist Series following basic salsa dance lessons for those in attendance.
“Many people find it hard to believe that rural Tennessee provides access to amazing cultural options. Yet, UTM ensures that offerings like Lalo Davila and Friends and Salsa in the Quad are available,” said Karen Campbell, communications director for the Weakley County School System.
Cultural diversity among student and community programs is increasing at UT Martin, and students in attendance appreciated the new event.
“Salsa in the Quad was a much-needed event on this campus, not only because it was a concert, but because it was a burst of culture,” said student Courtney Price. “For once, people came together from all backgrounds and displayed no judgment. Everywhere I looked, I saw people smiling, moving to the music and simply having a great time. I’m looking forward to more large-scale diversified events on this campus, because we need it.”
For those who may not enjoy salsa music, the afternoon of Oct. 4 also offered opportunities to hear the Aviators Marching Band perform their field show for Tennessee high school students during the Huntingdon Marching Contest at Huntingdon High School.
“The band performed for 22 of the finest high school bands in West and Middle Tennessee, as well as their band parents and supporters. There were several thousand people in attendance with a packed house and standing room only. Our band received a tremendous response,” said band director Steve Barnett. “The excitement shown for the Aviators Marching Band was overwhelming. We are very grateful to UTM alumni Ben Martin and Joe Davis, band directors at Huntingdon (High School), for the opportunity to perform.”
Later that same evening, UT Martin choir students performed in the annual Dessert Evening concert at Discovery Park of America. This event is a fundraiser to support choir members who participate in various departmental activities, including an international summer concert tour in New Zealand.
“This year’s Dessert Evening was truly outstanding,” said Dr. Lynn Alexander, dean of the UT Martin College of Humanities and Fine Arts. “The performances ranged from pop to classical, … and all were wonderful. I also liked the new venue. Being at Discovery Park of America’s Dinosaur Hall made it truly special.”
The upcoming music schedule includes small jazz (Oct. 29), piano (Nov. 12), contemporary music (Nov. 19) and percussion (Nov. 24). The Ed Sargent Guest Artist Series will continue Nov. 18 with a performance by Latitude 49, an international mixed-chamber ensemble. Tickets for this performance are available online at utm.edu/musicevents.
For more information, contact the Department of Music at 731-771-7402.