School of Music prepares for President's Scholarship Concert

March 16, 2010

 PLAINVIEW – The Wayland Baptist University School of Music is preparing one of its most extravagant concerts to date as faculty and students combine talents for a fund-raising concert to benefit student scholarships.

Sponsored by the Friends of Music, the President’s Scholarship Concert will cost $10 for adults and $5 for students of all ages. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, in Harral Memorial Auditorium. All proceeds will benefit student scholarships.

The concert will feature something for everyone from instrumental music to opera, and will include the premiere of a new opera scene, “The Worst One Ever,” written and composed to Dr. Gary Belshaw, associate professor of piano pedagogy at Wayland. The scene depicts three girls dealing with personal anxiety. One is dealing with the possibility that she might receive less than an A on a quiz, and she is having a hard time dealing with the fact that the professor, “the worst one ever,” hasn’t posted the grades. The second young lady is trying to get permission from her father, “the worst one ever,” to go on an overnight trip to see a concert in Dallas, and the third girl is dealing with her boyfriend, “the worst one ever,” who is trying to take her to a formal event when she just wants to go to a movie.

Dr. Belshaw came up with the idea after watching students become paralyzed by the fear of making a mistake. In an attempt to help one student get past the fear, Dr. Belshaw would tease her about not being able to accept anything less than an A. The theme became a running joke between Belshaw and Jeff Kensmoe, director of musical theatre and opera. Kensmoe challenged Belshaw to compose the piece so they could work on it in his opera scenes class.

I’ve been thinking about it for two years,” Belshaw said. “I had the opportunity to start writing it this year, so I took it.” 

The scene is approximately 10 minutes long. Alexis Hall, Casey Brazell, and Meredith Hardy will portray the three young ladies lamenting their situations. The opera scene will conclude the first half of the concert that also includes Joe Vandiver performing on his trumpet and several numbers from the International Choir.

Following an intermission, Jeff Kensmoe will perform several opera pieces by Gordon Myers. Dr. Kimberly Brown will then take the stage to perform “Six German Songs for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano” by Ludwig Spohr. She will be accompanied by Dr. Sandra Mosteller on clarinet and Dr. Richard Fountain on piano.

The Wayland singing group Spirit will perform three pieces including “Africa,” arranged by Phillip Lawson, “He Leadeth Me,” as sung by The Martins, and Phil Collins’ “Trashin’ the Camp” from the Disney movie Tarzan.

Wayland’s symphonic wind ensemble will close out the program with three numbers of its own.

Members of the Friends of Music organization are invited to a reception prior to the concert in the Atrium of the Learning Resources Center. If you are interested in joining the Friends of Music, you may contact Dr. Ann Stutes, Dean of the School of Music, at 291-1065.