On Sunday, May 13, the CSULB Music Department will present Celebrating Music XVII, a concert beginning at 4 p.m. in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.
The annual fundraiser for Music Department student scholarships is one of the highlights of the spring semester calendar, and this year features Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony” conducted by Music’s Jonathan Talberg.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and those with CSULB ID. Special VIP tickets are available for $100 and include an exclusive pre-concert reception and additional perks. VIP and general public tickets may be purchased through the CSULB Arts Ticket Office by calling 562/985-7000.
“None of the other campuses could produce a ‘Celebrating Music’ like we can,” said Talberg. “The entire CSU system looks to us for quality in choral music. CSULB has 600 music majors and, of those, 130 are majors in voice, choral education, opera or vocal jazz. These students want to be professionals and a chance to perform Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ is something they see as a chance to touch greatness.”
It takes that kind of quality to approach Beethoven. “In terms of challenges, the ‘Ninth Symphony’ is difficult for strings, but for the choirs, this is an unbelievably difficult piece. The choir may have only 12 minutes but those are some of the hardest 12 minutes in classical music. Modern choirs are better than those who sang it originally and have a higher level of musicianship than in Beethoven’s times. We can put together a performance that Beethoven would have been proud of.
“It is an honor and a blessing to be at a university where you can do this sort of thing,” added Talberg. “We don’t hire a single person. Other universities must bring in ringers–professional players–for works like these. We offer an all-student performance.”
For those who may be sitting on the fence about challenging themselves with the mighty “Ninth Symphony,” Talberg has this to say: “What better celebration of Mother’s Day could there be than to take your mom to hear the greatest music ever written, performed by Cal State Long Beach students, in a magnificent venue, for a bargain price?”