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April Music Performances at American University

The Department of Performing Arts presents a lively roundup of vocal and instrumental music programs to welcome spring.

Tickets are free for AU students with ID, $10 for alumni, staff, faculty, children, and senior citizens (55 and older), $15 general admission.
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American University Symphonic Band Notes on Hope | April 15, 3 p.m.

Symphonic Band performsMatthew Brown, conductor
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

AU Symphonic Band presents a variety of works ranging from the quirky to the profound, and from classical band canon to a work barely finished in time (by Matthew Brown, conductor). The program begins with "Early Light" by Carolyn Bremer, which incorporates thematic motives from the US National Anthem, and ends with "In Memoriam: Maidan" by Matthew Brown, which commemorates the 2014 Maidan Revolution in Ukraine and incorporates thematic motives from Ukraine's National Anthem. The program is rounded out by profoundly hopeful works by Edward Elgar and Morten Lauridsen, and lighter offerings by Frank Erickson and John Mackey.

American University Chamber Singers Bach & Handel – Early Music Brilliance | April 15, 7:30 p.m., April 16, 3 p.m.

Bach and Handel Early Music BrillianceDaniel Abraham, director
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Join the AU Chamber Singers for a memorable program of an exulted Bach Mass to Handel’s brilliant and descriptive account of the biblical plagues set upon ancient Egypt. The 30-member Chamber Singers and student soloists are joined by period-instrument performers for what will be both exciting music making and an inspirational educational listening experience. Presenting Johann Sebastian Bach: Mass in G Minor and George Frederic Handel: “Exodus” from Israel in Egypt.

American University Jazz Ensemble Some Spring Swing | April 21, 7 p.m.

Shot of a big jazz orchestra onstage, taken from aboveJoshua Bayer, director
Katzen Arts Center, Sculpture Garden, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Swing into the season with the AU Jazz Ensemble playing Big Band swing, funk, and straight-ahead Jazz from a variety of composers. 

This event will be held outdoors in the Katzen Arts Center Sculpture Garden. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held indoors in the Katzen Arts Center Recital Hall.

American University Chorus On a Canvas of Silence | April 22, 7:30 p.m., April 23, 3 p.m.

AU Chorus On a Canvas of SilenceCasey Cook, director
Barbara Wilkinson, pianist
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Conductor Leopold Stokowski once said, "A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence." Join the American University Chorus as they explore the nature of sound and silence, including a powerful performance of Jake Runestad's “A Silence Haunts Me.”

American University Symphony Orchestra Annexing Tchaikovsky | April 29, 7:30 p.m., April 30, 2 p.m.

Symphony Orchestra performs Matthew Brown, conductor
Bailey Hobbs, soloist
Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW

The AU Symphony Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky's Symphony no. 2 ("Ukrainian"), Verdi's La Forza del Destino Overture, "Melody for Orchestra" by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk, Rachmaninov Piano Concerto no. 3 (1st movement), and other works. The student winner of the 2023 Concerto and Aria Competition, Bailey Hobbs, will appear as soloist.