Spring pops at Abington with swing and light classical music

ABINGTON, Pa. — Swing into spring with the eclectic sounds of Penn State Abington’s best young musicians this week.

Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble, led by Penn State Abington music instructor Rob Haffley, will bring a mélange of swing, funk, fusion and jazz-rock to the Sutherland Auditorium stage on Monday, April 24. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m., and admission is free.

The ensemble of students, faculty and members of the Philadelphia music community ranges in age from 18 to 68. They will perform compositions by jazz stalwarts such as Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan and John Lewis.

Spring Concert

On Wednesday, April 26, in the Sutherland Auditorium, Abington’s Spring Concert brings together three more of the college’s talented musical ensembles. The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. in Sutherland Auditorium. Admission is free.

Pro Musica, founded and conducted by music instructor Peter Nocella, will offer a program of favorites from the classical repertoire, including “Hungarian Dance #5” by Johannes Brahms and “Prelude #2” by George Gershwin.

Following Pro Musica, the AbingTones and the newly formed Travel Singers will deliver a program of light classical vocals as well as pop and jazz standards.

Sunghee Kim, director of campus choirs, says that the two choral groups have drawn several selections from the natural world, including Irving Berlin’s “Blue Skies.”

“With light classics like Paul David Thomas’ ‘Hurricane’ and Stephen Lawrence’s ‘Listen to the Rain,’ they sing and create the sound of raindrops and wind by tapping their feet, whistling, snapping their fingers and rubbing their palms together.” Kim said. “It’s music to see. The audience is invited to watch as well as listen.”

There are 10 students in the AbingTones, and Kim has drawn the six most experienced singers to perform primarily off-campus as the Travel Singers. The latter group will sing “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom of the Opera,” and the two troupes will offer Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.”

Four members of the AbingTones will sing in Chinese a song whose English translation is “Quiet," made famous by the well-known Taiwanese pop girl group S.H.E. With singers from Asia, Angola and America, Kim feels the choral groups are an excellent sampling of the college’s diverse student population.

Both concerts are presented by Abington Cultural & Community Events.

Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. The Lions Gate residence hall will open in August.


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Last Updated April 21, 2017