By | Alexandra McLaughlin ‘16

It was a busy year for music at Macalester. Along with the usual lineup of concerts and a capella performances, Mac hosted many special guests, collaborated with academic departments, and witnessed the inaugural performances of new student groups.

Nearly every month, the Chopin Society brought in world-class pianists such as Pavel Kolesnikov and Nelson Goerner to perform classical music by composers including Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. Fans of more contemporary music tuned into “Late Night Vinyl” sessions hosted by Director of Instrumental Music Mark Mandarano. Utilizing the spectacular surround-system in the music building, Mandarano played legendary albums by Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush, and Led Zeppelin.

True to Macalester’s Scottish pride, the award-winning Pipe Band gave performances of traditional highland bagpipe music accompanied by highland dancing. In early February, the Pipe Band hosted a free dinner for the community to learn more about bagpiping. Folks of all ages could try on kilts or take a stab at a practice chanter.

As an ode to music’s ability to spread across disciplines, the department collaborated with the American Studies Department to host an event about a record label producing revolutionary music and, along with the Classics Department, brought in a one-man folk opera performance of Homer’s Odyssey. In an impressive spring concert, the Macalester Orchestra and Choirs united to perform the powerful “Song of Fate” by Johannes Brahms.

To celebrate Macalester’s participation in Recyclemania and Campus Conservation Nationals, the Sustainability Office hosted the third annual blackout concert in March. A cappella groups, Medicinal Melodies, and others performed on a stage lit by LED lights. This year saw the first performances of new student groups including Macalester Viol Consort, which brought life to music from the Renaissance, and the a cappella group Chromactics, singing both contemporary and classic R&B songs.

From the drums of the African Music Ensemble to the fiddles of Flying Fingers, members of the Macalester community are sure to find something pleasing to the ear.

July 23 2015

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