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Susquehanna Students Present Cinematic Concert

Published on January 22, 2014

Susquehanna University’s Department of Music will present a concert sure to engage both the eyes and the ears on Jan. 31. Film Clips with SU Orchestra and Student Composers will feature the original compositions of Susquehanna students, performed by the university orchestra. The free, public concert will begin at 7 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall of the Cunningham Center for Music and Art.Cinematic Concert

In composition lessons with Associate Professor of Music Patrick Long, students wrote original scores to accompany film clips from silent movies. The film clips will be presented as the orchestra, directed by Associate Professor of Music Jennifer Sacher Wiley, performs.

Combining live music and movies was common practice throughout the silent film era. Larger theaters often hired organists or ensembles for the job. Long says the concert will allow the audience to experience what it was like to watch a film in the early part of the 20th century.

Additionally, the concert has provided student composers with an opportunity to write for a full orchestra rather than a small ensemble.

“To encode thousands of notes on paper that will result in 60 musicians playing their different parts together and having it all turn out and sound good—it's quite a challenge and requires a great deal of experience. This project provides these students with a significant step on that journey,” explains Long.

This experience has been especially valuable for students considering careers in scoring film or video games, or contemplating graduate school for music composition. “Having the opportunity to show schools a piece performed by an entire orchestra is an amazing opportunity,” says Matthew Tiramani, a junior music education major from Lewisburg, Pa., and one of the concert’s featured composers.

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