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K-State Today

April 29, 2014



Inaugural concert at Kauffman Center to raise scholarship money for students

By Bryan Pinkall

Kansas State University choral students will partner with professional musicians to bring purple to Kansas City's art scene.

The Kansas State University Grand Chorus will present its inaugural Rhapsody concert at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. All ticket sales benefit student scholarships and performance opportunities in the university's School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

"This concert is a way to get purple to Kansas City," said Julie Yu Oppenheim, associate professor of music and co-director of choral studies. "K-State has a good athletics presence in Kansas City. We have a good academic presence with K-State Olathe. We want to have an arts presence, too."

The Grand Chorus singers and a professional orchestra will perform Johannes Brahms' "Ein Deutsches Requiem." Alumna Jan Kraybill, conservator of the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ at the Kauffman Center, will give a solo performance. Kraybill received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Kansas State University.

The chorus also will perform several stand-alone pieces without the orchestra.

The event gives students the opportunity to perform in one of the world's most prestigious concert halls, Yu said. The Kauffman Center was recently named one of the 15 most beautiful concert halls in the world by the building data company Emporis.

"For the students to have a concert hall like this in their backyard and to be able to perform there is such a treat," Yu said. "The very heart of the event is to give scholarships to students."

Rhapsody will help the university's College of Arts and Sciences provide financial support to music, theater and dance students.

The event also gives current students an experience performing with professional musicians. The Brahms Requiem is a significant work in the choral canon, Yu said, but the choir is ready to tackle the challenge.

Other organizers involved include Josh Oppenheim, assistant professor of music and co-director of choral studies, and Bryan Pinkall, instructor in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Sheila Walker, director of development for the College of Arts and Sciences, and staff at the Kansas State University Foundation were also involved.

The organizers intend to hold the event every year and want it to become a culminating event for choir students.

Rhapsody tickets start at $30. Learn more about the event, receive a special coupon discount, and purchase tickets.

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