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Scheidt School of Music Celebrates Tenth Anniversary University News
For release: October 20, 2010

For press information, contact Carol Morse (901) 678-2279

Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, the University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Choirs will perform movements I, IV and V of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection). The concert is scheduled for 7:30 pm, November 1, 2010, in Harris Concert Hall on the University of Memphis campus (3775 Central Avenue).

The Symphony was first performed in 1895 and is considered one of Mahler’s greatest works. Its theme reflects his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection. According to Maestro Pu-Qi Jiang, performing the work is a major undertaking that involves not only the orchestra, but choirs, an off-stage brass ensemble, and soprano and alto soloists. Approximately one-third of the School’s students will be performing at the concert.

Dr. Jiang came to the U of M ten years ago – the same year the department of music became the School of Music. Since then he has observed tremendous growth in both the quality and quantity of music students. He attributes the quality of student musicians to the quality of teaching by the School’s faculty. “We are no longer a student’s orchestra at a local level. We have moved forward to the metropolitan level.” he says.

The study of music at the University of Memphis spans 98 years, beginning with the 1912 recognition of music as a specialized area of study at the West Tennessee Normal School. Thirty-five years later, a separate music department was established and by 1962 both the bachelor of music and master of music degrees were offered. In 2000, a generous endowment by Rudi and Honey Scheidt established the School of Music. Currently, the School offers degrees in 29 areas of concentration and has the distinction of being Tennessee’s only doctoral degree-granting program in music.

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