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Building relationships through musical freedom of choice

March 12, 2018

The Arizona State University School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is launching a new weekly open stage concert series, “Tunes at Noon,” for the ASU School of Music community. There will be a stage located in the interior courtyard by the water fountain with microphones and amplifications.

Music community members playing music in courtyard.

The school will launch the new community-building project beginning March 20.

“We want this project to be a place where our students can hang out and get additional performance experience,” said Samuel Peña, community engagement coordinator for the ASU School of Music. “A place for the students to have freedom of choice in the musical pieces that they are performing, and a place where they can experiment with the support of their peers.”

Peña said the weekly event is initially designed to foster a sense of community within the School of Music, but is hopeful that the event will grow to be one that includes collaborations across other disciplines at ASU.

Prior to each "Tunes at Noon," performers will sign up and list musical examples or descriptions of what they would like to play. The performers will be able to share musical works of their choice; this includes studio repertoire as well as original music and covers. The series is designed as a platform for all students, faculty and staff to have a place to perform with their peers, whether a solo performance or a collaboration, and for members of the School of Music community to engage in all genres of music.

Peña said the series also provides a great opportunity for faculty members to perform a different style of music or play a different instrument than they usually do. He said the goal of sharing a different side of themselves is to build trust, community and respect among the students and other faculty members. 

“During my time here at the School of Music, I have heard from several students that they are very familiar with their peers in their studio, but only peers in their studio,” Peña said. “They are saying that while they enjoy spending so much time with students and faculty in their specific area of study, they wish they had more opportunities to hear across the different areas of music in the school.”

Peña said he hopes the project will enhance the foundation for a supportive and more connected community, a place for music students to feel free to express themselves, to take risks and to celebrate one another.

“The school’s initial goal for the project is to create a supportive environment that encourages conversations and builds relationships — ones that are centered around and celebrate the diverse musical interests within the music community,” Peña said.

School of Music
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lamacdon@asu.edu