c_o Wesleyan CFA

c_o Wesleyan CFA

The first half of the semester was jam-packed with musical events filling the Center of the Arts (CFA) halls with everything from Sunny Jain’s “Wild, Wild East” to celebrate the CFA’s 50th anniversary to electronic music performances spread out across three chapters of the experimental performance “between systems and grounds.” The second half of the semester promises another glimpse into the large and involved music scene on campus. 

This weekend, a second tribute concert—in memory of William Wasch ’52, P ’84, ’84, ’92—will be taking place in Crowell Concert Hall on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 3:00 p.m. Homecoming weekend will also feature a live performance from Black Raspberry at Malcolm X House on Friday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. and The Shed’s Evil Inc. in the Hewitt 8 Lounge on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 8:30 p.m. These events are free to attend. 

Later in the semester, Piano Instructor Carolyn Halsted will continue the theme of remembrance with a solo piano recital featuring some of her own composed works in memory of her father in Crowell Concert Hall on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 4:00 p.m. The recital is free to attend.

The first in a series of four performances titled “Instrument—Body,” which explore the tension between making music with a body as opposed to an instrument, premiered on Friday, Oct. 20, in the Joe Webb Peoples Museum of Natural History, featuring bassist Brandon Lopez and musician and multimedia artist Cecilia Lopez MA ’16. The series will continue with artist and performer Jeremy Toussaint-Baptiste’s lecture-performance in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery on Friday, Nov. 10, at 2:00 p.m. Narcisster’s “Organ Player” will be featured in the third installment of the series in the Ring Family Performing Arts Hall on Friday, Nov. 17, at 4:30 p.m. Finally, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Ethan Philbrick and cellist Justin Wong will close out the series by playing a cello duet in the CFA Tunnels on Friday, Dec. 8, at 2:00 p.m. All events are free to attend. 

Additionally, experimental music will once again be highlighted on campus with a performance of “Fields” by Nat Baldwin MA ’24—a collage of text, sound, and movement combining his own work with that of many other composers, including John Spencer Camp Professor of Music Emeritus Anthony Braxton—in the World Music Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 8:00 p.m. Earlier in the month, the Concert Committee will host another performance, this time by experimental musician Henry Birdsey, in Allbritton 311 on Friday, Nov. 3, at 8:00 p.m. Both events are free to attend. 

Student showcases will occur all throughout the first two weeks of December, kicking off with the West African Music and Dance Concert in the CFA Theatre on Friday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. On the same day at 8:00 p.m., the Wesleyan University Orchestra will be performing in Crowell Concert Hall and Notably Sharp will be hosting their Fall Concert in the Memorial Chapel. Continuing the music-filled weekend, the University’s Javanese Gamelan Ensemble will present a Javanese wayang kulit shadow puppet play in the World Music Hall on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m. The Korean Drumming and Creative Music Ensemble, followed by the Taiko Drumming Ensemble, will be performing in the World Music Hall on Sunday, Dec. 3, at 4:00 p.m. All events are free to attend with the exception of the West African Music and Dance Concert, which costs $6 for entry. 

Throughout the last week of classes, be sure to take a break from studying with any one of the many student music showcases taking place every night from Monday, Dec. 4, to Friday, Dec. 8. The Crowell Concert Hall will be hosting the Ebony Singers Winter Concert on Monday, Dec. 4, at 8:00 p.m., the WesWinds Fall Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 8:00 p.m., and the Chinese Music Ensemble Fall Concert on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7:00 p.m. in the first half of the week. These events will be followed by two performances on Thursday, Dec. 7: John Cage’s “Musicircus”—featuring students in “Introduction to Experimental Music” (MUSC109)—at 12:00 p.m. and the Wesleyan Concert Choir at 8:00 p.m. Finally, Friday, Dec. 8, will see the Wesleyan Chamber Music Concert perform at 12:00 p.m. and the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra and Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble Concert at 8:00 p.m. as the last music events of the semester. All of these events are free to attend, except for the Ebony Singers Winter Concert, with ticket prices starting at $5 for University students, $7 for University alumni, faculty, and staff, and $8 for the general public.

While Crowell is overflowing with musical events, other venues on campus will also play host to a variety of performances, beginning with a South Indian Student Music Recital on Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the World Music Hall at 6:00 p.m. On Thursday, Dec. 7, at 6:00 p.m., the World Music Hall will showcase beginning students of the Javenese Gamelan Ensemble at 6:00 p.m. On the same day, the Memorial Chapel will be filled with the deep tones of organ music performed by students at 9:30 p.m. On Friday, Dec. 8—the final day of music concerts at the University—students in “Live-Electronics for Composition, Improvisation, and Sound Art” (MUSC221) will present a compilation of their audiovisual performances in the Ring Family Performing Arts Hall at 6:30 p.m.

The Wesleyan Spirits will host their annual Fall Jam in the Memorial Chapel at 7:00 p.m. Spirits member Quincy Segal ’26 encouraged all to attend.

“Come to the Spirits Fall Jam if you want to hear good and awesome singing!” Segal said. “Even if you hate acappella, you will like this…. Trust me.”

Caleb Henning can be reached at chenning@wesleyan.edu.