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Students return to Schuster Center for 2023 Celebration of the Arts

By Kassidy Lammers ’24

From orchestra to gospel, choral music to modern dance, opera to Javanese Gamelan, the 2023 Celebration of the Arts highlights the artistic accomplishments of University of Dayton students. 

Since 2005, the College of Arts and Sciences has hosted the event to bring music, theater and dance from the University to the greater Dayton community. This year, the Celebration of the Arts is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at the Schuster Performing Arts Center in downtown Dayton. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Celebration of the Arts is a big, collaborative concert that showcases some of the variety of what we do in the performing arts at UD,” said Julia Randel, associate professor and Department of Music chair.

The Celebration of the Arts differs from other UD performances hosted throughout the year. It features 11 ensembles from the Department of Music and the Theatre, Dance and Performance Technology program. Most concerts feature only one or two ensembles.

“It’s a great time to connect the variety of worlds within the department,” said Trinity Hines-Anthony, a senior music performance major from Dayton. “I feel like the Celebration of the Arts is a good time to meet each other, work together and see what other students here are doing.”

Hines-Anthony will perform as part of the Ebony Heritage Singers and play Dido in the opera workshop production of Dido and Aeneas. She said she is especially excited for the opera workshop performance, which will be the first fully in-person opera performance since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s the first or second time we’ve actually gotten to come into a space after having been musicians in our own little corners for so long,” she said.

Celebration of the Arts, 2022

Backstage at the Schuster Center, in hallways marked with signatures of traveling Broadway actors, students gather and prepare for their performances. Maria Graziano, a sophomore communication and religious studies major from Slinger, Wisconsin, said the venue is one of her favorite parts of the Celebration of the Arts.

“There are only so many opportunities that I will have in my life to perform in a venue made specifically for sharing music with so many other people,” she said. “There is a lot of responsibility and excitement that comes from the opportunity to play in a center like that.”

Graziano, concertmaster of the University Orchestra, which will play the finale of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, From the New World, is one of many students not majoring in music or performance who will perform at this year’s event.

Looking beyond 2023, the event’s future is bright, Randel said. Next year, the University plans to open the new Roger Glass Center for the Performing Arts, where Celebration of the Arts will likely be held in spring 2024. 

“One of the things that’s exciting about the new building is it gives us a chance to reimagine this event,” Randel said. 

Randel said the relationship between the University and the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance has given the University an important connection to the local arts community, which she hopes to maintain and expand even after the Glass Center’s completion.

Graziano said she believes the performing arts are valuable because of the ways they help individuals form connections, and that the Celebration of the Arts helps promote the importance of the arts.

“I love seeing all the ways music holds us together,” she said. “The Celebration of the Arts definitely helps with that. By preparing a performance with the purpose of bringing the community together, I think we’re keeping the arts alive.”

For more information, visit the Celebration of the Arts website.

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