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Fall semester to be filled with wide range of music

Patriot Choir
The University of North Georgia (UNG) Patriot Choir performed at the Starlight celebration in August at the UNG Gainesville Campus. The choir will sing at several concerts this fall including at the alumni reunion Oct. 7 at the Dahlonega Campus.

A nursing student and a business major may never cross paths at the University of North Georgia (UNG), but one element may bring them together — music.

"We get students from all walks of life in our music ensembles," said Dr. Benjamin Schoening, head of UNG's Department of Music and director of vocal studies. "They form long-lasting bonds because they share the love of music."

Those musical bonds and collaborations are shared with UNG and the surrounding community through concerts and recitals scheduled this fall.

Brand new this year will be the UNG Choirs Holiday Festival at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Gainesville"It's a way to kick off the holiday season," Schoening said.

The concert will feature all of the UNG choirs and brass ensembles. Each choir and ensemble will perform at the front of the church, giving each group the spotlight for a few songs.

UNG choirs will not be the only ones performing. Part-time UNG faculty member and Grace Episcopal organist and Director of Music Will Gotmer will play.

Gotmer acted as a liaison between UNG and the church to coordinate the concert, said Schoening, who is happy with the result.

"Grace Episcopal is a beautiful place, and the acoustics make it one of the best places to sing," he said. "We are grateful for the opportunity to present these performances in their facility."

A concert marking its second anniversary at UNG is OcTuba Fest, which celebrates the tuba and euphonium (the tuba's smaller brother). Started at UNG by Dr. Adam Frey, OcTuba Fest coincides with the Americanized version of Oktoberfest.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 in Gloria Shott Performance Hall in Dahlonega and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 in the Continuing Education and Performance Arts Center building in Gainesville. It will feature Scottish tuba soloist James Gourlay.

Frey, an assistant professor of music, said OcTuba Fest was created for a variety of reasons at UNG.

"First, it highlights our students and allows them to share their performances and skills in a meaningful way," he said. "Secondly, it offers an occasion to invite a guest performer and our faculty to collaborate with our students. Lastly, the event offers great name recognition and will hopefully attract some new audience members."

A few weeks after OcTuba Fest, the annual All American Piano Celebration will celebrate its 30th anniversary. Dr. Joe Chapman, a professor of music at UNG, founded the concert to showcase talented pianists and promote the live performance of American piano music. It features professional, amateur and student pianists from across north Georgia performing music by various American composers. The event will begin at 4 p.m. Nov. 11, in the Gloria Shott Performance Hall in the Nix Fine Arts Center on the Dahlonega Campus.

Chapman also will step into the spotlight in two faculty recitals. He will perform on UNG's brand-new Steinway concert grand piano at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 and 7 in the Gloria Shott Performance Hall.

Other faculty members will have an opportunity to showcase their skills during A Little Night(hawk) Music concert series at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2, Nov. 6 and Dec. 4 in the Continuing Education lobby on the Gainesville Campus

Graduating voice students will shine this semester during senior recitals with a couple of them launching the fall concert series. But the first band concert of the season will be Oct. 12 at Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville.

"We are able to get students from the Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses to collaborate for this concert," Schoening said, pointing out a 45-minute drive between the two campuses is a lot of time for college students. "So we are looking forward to this concert."

The Patriot Choir will have its inaugural alumni reunion Oct. 7 at the Dahlonega Campus. Thirty or more alumni have committed to the reunion, which will feature the current Patriot Choir singing at 9:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Oct. 7.

Current singers and alumni will present a concert at 5 p.m. in the Memorial Hall gym. The UNG Men's Quartet featuring Dr. John Broman, Randy Barker, Rich Grimshaw and Dr. Mark Spraker also will perform during the concert.

For a full list of the fall concerts, visit the UNG Music Department page.

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