More than 200 student and faculty musicians performed during the 13th annual Gala Holiday Concerts on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. at the Rialto Center for the Arts.
Performing members included the University Symphony Orchestra, Choruses, Jazz Band and Percussion Ensemble. Conductors Michael Palmer, Robert Ambrose, Gordon Vernick and Deanna Joseph led the ensembles and soloists in a musical potpourri of works by Duke Ellington, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Schubert, Holst and others. W. Dwight Coleman served as artistic director.
In addition, the performances featured special guest appearances by members of Atlanta’s diverse cultural community. Back by popular demand, students from the Charles Drew R. Charter School joined the GSU combined choirs in a performance of Betelehemu, featuring African dance and percussion. The School of Music has had a partnership with the Drew Charter School, located in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, since 2006, thanks to a generous, multi-year grant from the Cousins Foundation, Inc. The partnership includes the “Sound Learning” program, which facilitates residencies with musicians from the community; music lessons taught by GSU graduate music students; and the “Connect” program, which teaches composition and improvisation skills.