President's Concert returns to Heinz Hall

January 19, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State President's Concert has come full circle. The sixth annual event, designed to showcase School of Music ensembles to alumni and prospective students, will feature the Penn State Glee Club, Opera Theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra Feb. 28 at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, the site of the first such concert in 2007.

Previous concerts have been held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (2008), Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia (2009), Carnegie Hall (2010) and the Strathmore Music Center in North Bethesda, Md. (2011).

"The Penn State President's Concert is an event our students anticipate every year, because it gives them the opportunity to perform in a major concert hall to an audience of alumni and prospective students," said Sue Haug, director of the School of Music. "It's an opportunity you just don't get at most universities."

One such student is Meghan Hilker, a senior studying voice performance. Hilker is participating in her second President's Concert, this time as a member of the Opera Theatre. "This is such a fantastic opportunity, not only for me as an individual but for Penn State Opera. Not only do I get to sing on stage in Heinz Hall and be featured as a representative of the School of Music along with some of its finest musicians, but also Penn State Opera is being featured," she said. Hilker is happy to be able to show prospective students what is available to them in terms of music education. "Penn State may not be the first university that comes to mind when students think of music study, but it is a remarkable place that has helped me learn so much about myself and has helped me realize that greatness and success don't necessarily come from world renowned conservatories. Study, devotion, passion and nurture all combine here to create a school full of not only fine musicians but more importantly beautiful people -- in fact some of the best that I know."

Matt Weaver, who is in both the Glee Club and the Philharmonic Orchestra, also is looking forward to the experience. "I absolutely love being so involved with the upcoming President's Concert, and it all comes from me always doing as much as I can to increase my performance skills and opportunities," said Weaver, a junior majoring in music education/violin. "Performances like these are the ones that pressure me to do well the most. The venue is very well-known around the country, the audience will be composed of many people including prospective students who don't know the Penn State School of Music, and we will be representing a world-class institution of higher education. I know that alumni, prospective students and all audience members alike view such a performance as special because of the few opportunities they'll have to see such high-caliber young musicians performing at a professional venue."

Weaver also performed in the Penn State President's Concert in his freshman year. "That particular performance was in the world famous Carnegie Hall, so you could imagine how excited I was to be able to go," he said.

Dan Landers-Nolan, a fifth year senior majoring in broadcast journalism and secondary education, is performing in his second President's Concert. He performed last year with the Concert Choir. "My favorite part of performing in the concert last year was just being able to represent Penn State and have the opportunity to perform our fall repertoire one more time for a unique audience," Landers-Nolan said. “A lot of times, high school students are invited and come away impressed by the musical ability of Penn State students. Also, as a choral ensemble, we don't often get to perform with orchestral or instrumental ensembles, so that collaboration is especially nice.”

Landers-Nolan is looking forward to performing in Heinz Hall. “I have been to Heinz Hall once, a handful of years ago to see the Lord of the Rings Symphony. It is a tremendous space with great acoustics, and everyone in the Glee Club is very excited and honored to be singing there.”

The event is sponsored jointly by Penn State's School of Music, Office of the President and the Alumni Association. The Alumni Association will host a reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom at Heinz Hall. Admission to the concert and reception is $50 per person for Alumni Association members; $60 per person for non-members; $15 for children 6-17; and free for children 5 and under. To register, visit the Alumni Association website at and click on the "Register Now" link.

Tickets for the concert only are available for $15 general admission, $10 for students, through the Heinz Hall Ticket Office at 412-392-4900 or online.

"We are fortunate to have one of the best Schools of Music in the east here at Penn State, and it's a thrill to be able to showcase this extraordinary talent for our alumni in major concert halls such as this," said Roger Williams, executive director of the Alumni Association. "Alumni have told me how very proud they are of the music program at Penn State, and how much they enjoy attending these concerts. Musical ambassadors are the best ambassadors any university could have, and that's why the Penn State Alumni Association is such a strong supporter of the President's Concert."

For information about other upcoming School of Music events, visit online. For information about other alumni events, visit online, e-mail or call 800-548-LION (5466), option 4.

  • The Penn State Glee Club, including Dan Landers-Nolan, top row left, and Matt Weaver, front row right, will be performing along with Penn State's Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera Theatre at the Penn State President's Concert Feb. 28 in Heinz Hall, Pittsburgh.

    IMAGE: Annemarie Mountz
Last Updated May 21, 2012