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Free College Concert Set For Tuesday

October 11, 2013

The Philadelphia Orchestra is performing a concert and having an event for college students on Tuesday, October 15, at 8 PM at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

The entire program is called the Free College Concert because, well, it’s free. Led by Orchestra Associate Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, the performance includes Tchaikovsky’s Polonaise from Eugene Onegin; Strauss’s Don Juan; Abe’s Prism Rhapsody for marimba and orchestra, featuring Won Suk Lee, winner in the Senior Division of the Philadelphia Orchestra 2013 Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition; Falla’s Suite No. 2 from The Three-Cornered Hat; and Ravel’s Bolero


Students enjoy last year’s Free College Concert. Photo: Ryan Donnell/The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Temple University’s Diamond Marching Band will perform outside the Kimmel Center before the concert, and entertainment will be provided by local university mascots. After the concert, jazz musician Luke Carlos O’Reilly will play in the Kimmel Center lobby during a party that includes free food and drinks and that will be attended by Orchestra musicians.

The Free College Concert is being presented as part of the Orchestra’s eZseatU membership program designed for college students that offers unprecedented access to in-demand concert tickets at a fraction of the cost. Funded by PNC Arts Alive, the eZseatU membership program provides full-time students access to all Philadelphia Orchestra Kimmel Center subscription performances for just $25 per year. For more information or to purchase an eZseatU membership, visit www.philorch.org/ezseatu.

Măcelaru, who conducted the Free College Concert last year, said, “I always love the enthusiasm and fresh energy that the students bring to the concert hall. Several musicians have shared the same feeling with me about this unique night.”

Students will also have the opportunity to win a signed CD of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestra’s new recording of The Rite of Spring, as well as posters of Yannick and the Orchestra in a fun photo contest.

 To enter, students should take creative photos of themselves holding a Free College Concert program at the Kimmel Center pre or post-concert and post it to their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. Showing their posted photos to the staff at the giveaway table will enable participants to receive a free poster. Students should use the hash tag #PhilOrchFreeCollegeConcert and tag themselves and their friends at @PhilaOrchestra to be eligible to be the winner of the grand prize signed CD.

But everyone should remember to put those devices away while the musicians are playing. No photos or videos are allowed in Verizon Hall during the concert. "I really enjoyed the Free College Concert last year,” said Heidi Gay, a Bryn Mawr College student. “I feel that it had a more relaxed atmosphere than normal Philadelphia Orchestra concerts, with even the concertmaster cracking a few jokes or two in his welcome speech. I went with a friend, and we sat in the conductor's circle, enjoying the full, rich sound of the horns. I'm really excited about the Free College Concert this year and look forward to what the 2013-14 season has to offer."

Another student, Eric Ulmer of Villanova University, said, “When I went the first time, it was mainly the words ‘Free Event’ that attracted me. Actually attending convinced me that there was way more to this concert than just the price. The energy and the passion that I felt from both the Orchestra and the students was absolutely incredible. I wasn't even on stage, but I felt like I was a part of something amazing. I also loved the events after the performance; I met and connected with college students from all over the area who were all passionate about music.”

More than 2,000 students from area colleges are expected to attend. To join them, reserve tickets at http://www.philorch.org/free-college-concert.

Did we mention the concert is free?