There are going to be a few surprises in this year’s Concert Spectacular, but Bill Grimes doesn’t want to reveal too much.
“You have to come to the concert to see what’s going to happen,” he says. “People say every year, ‘That was great. How are you going to top it next year?’ We’re always making changes.”
Grimes is a professor of music in the LSU School of Music, which stages the annual concert featuring soloists and ensembles representing all of its disciplines. Grimes is coordinating this year’s event, which will be structured a little differently when it hits the LSU Union Theatre stage on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Concert Spectacular is known for its nonstop hour of music, where one act immediately gives way to another with no breaks or intermissions. The audience usually is asked to hold its applause until the end.
But this year, applause will be allowed at the midway point.
“We’re going to have an intermission this year,” Grimes says. “We needed it for logistical reasons because we have to take time to reset the stage between two events. Besides, I think we’re coming to the point where it’s uncomfortable for many of our audience members to sit through an hour and five minutes without a break.”
Performances will include the newly formed LSU Jazz Guitar Ensemble, chamber music, a solo pianist, two different choirs, the LSU Wind Ensemble and the LSU Jazz Ensemble playing a mambo.
“The concert will feature 13 events, some played by the same ensemble,” Grimes says. “The concert’s theme this year is ‘There is a Place for You,’ meaning there is a place in the School of Music for our incoming students, our donors and art and music lovers — there’s a place for everyone here.”
The concert’s finale will be a premiere of Grimes’ composition, “Fantasia on the LSU Alma Mater.” And there will be surprises in between.
“I’m not going to give away too much information, because people are always interested in the vulnerability of musicians,” Grimes says. “If I want to leave a little bit out to entice the audience to come. This concert is going to be a winner.”