Ithaca College Commencement Eve Concert Highlights Musical Inspiration

By Dave Maley, May 14, 2019
The public is invited to attend the open dress rehearsal Friday evening.

The public is invited to enjoy a special preview of Ithaca College’s traditional Commencement Eve Concert on Friday, May 17, in Glazer Arena of the Athletics and Events Center. Serving as a dress rehearsal for the following night’s performance, the concert will be held at 8:30 p.m. and admission is free.

The theme of this year’s concert is “The Inspiration Behind Great Music.” Directed by Mike Titlebaum, who leads the jazz studies program in the Ithaca College School of Music, the program will explore the wide range of things that inspire composers to create new music.

The engaging hour-long concert showcases the talents of School of Music student performers in the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, Choir, Ragtime Marimba Band, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Vocal Ensemble, along with the a cappella group Premium Blend.

The program will feature works by artists ranging from Duke Ellington to Rodgers and Hart to Coldplay.

The Choir will perform several selections from “Considering Matthew Shepard,” which mixes a wide range of musical styles with soulful recitations to tell the poignant story of Matthew Shepard’s life and tragic death. The Jazz Ensemble will perform “The Kingdom of Aksum,” the winning piece from this year’s David P. ’60 and Susan W. Wohlhueter Jazz Composition Contest. Written by 2011 IC alumnus Bobby Spellman, the piece is inspired by both traditional Ellingtonian jazz and Ethiopian music.

For more information on Ithaca College’s 2019 Commencement ceremony, visit