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By Gabriela Lovera, Editor-in-Chief of The Navigator
“A Little Lunch Music” performance series from the College of Fine Arts premiered at the Jacksonville University campus on Oct. 4. The first event in the lunch series featured the University Singers choir group performance during lunch hour at the Davis College of Business.
Shannon Lockwood, assistant professor of music, developed this series to engage the JU community.
“We want the students and faculty outside the College of Fine Arts to see what we are doing and get a chance to experience it,” said Lockwood. “We understand that, especially for faculty, coming back onto campus for evening concerts and weekend concerts when they have life outside of work is a challenge.”
For the 2018-2019 academic year, the music department has scheduled four mini-concerts in different venues around campus.
The concert series showcases the College of Fine Arts’ student work. It also provides students with opportunity for professional development.
“In some ways, a more causal environment helps our students to get some of those performance jitters out instead of the formal sacred concert space where everyone dresses up, comes, sits down quietly, listens, and waits to clap,” said Lockwood. “That can be overwhelming sometimes.”
Preparing and organizing an impromptu concert wasn’t much of a challenge for Lockwood because of the support she found across campus.
“I thought the logistics would be quite complex,” said Lockwood. “Also, getting everyone at the Davis College of Business to agree to having us, but honestly everyone has been really supportive of it.”
According to Dr. Timothy Snyder, interim dean of the College of Fine Arts, organizing multiple concerts was a collaborative effort.
“We worked together to map out the series,” said Snyder. “Each of those ensembles is directed by a different faculty member and they do the programming for the concert.”
The selection of different venues was based on outreach opportunities.
“We really selected the spaces not for the ensembles but for the outreach, for the audiences we would like to attract,” said Snyder.
In November, a cello ensemble will perform at the Howard Administration Building. In March 2019, a group of chamber wind instruments will showcase their work at the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences. The “A Little Lunch Music” concert series season will end in April at the Kinne Center with the performance of the jazz group.
For Snyder and Lockwood the 30-minute concert series was one way to actively show the work of the College of Fine Arts to the JU community.
“By definition, what we are is a community of artists, humanists, scientists, business people, health scientists, practitioners, and more. It’s that wonderful combination that makes for an exciting life of the mind and of the spirit.”
“We know that there are a lot of students and faculty on campus who don’t know what we do, so we want to get the word out,” said Snyder. “By taking our work to them, we are open to do that.”
Esther Olivo, musical theater major at JU and member of the University Singers choir, believes that performing outside of the College of Fine Arts allows musicians to test their limits.
“The musician shouldn’t be just stuck and confined to one building,” said Olivo. “He should be able to go out into the community and meet new people of different majors and different backgrounds.” For Snyder, music, combined with other specialties, allows the JU campus to integrate itself.
“Without the arts, there’s no university,” Snyder said. “By definition, what we are is a community of artists, humanists, scientists, business people, health scientists, practitioners, and more. It’s that wonderful combination that makes for an exciting life of the mind and of the spirit.”
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