New column should be music to your ears

Moores Music Notes

Jason Caesar Consolacion

First of all, let me take this opportunity to thank The Daily Cougar and Mr. Entertainment himself, Joey Guerra, for giving me the opportunity to share with you, on a weekly basis, the scoop on what's happening at the Moores School of Music.

As you all know, the brand-new building generously donated by philanthropists John and Rebecca Moores officially opened its doors last semester. Since then, there have been many memorable performances witnessed in the Moores Opera House, and the new facilities have been very useful and beneficial for all the students.

This is not a very busy month for the Moores School of Music. Much of the attention has been turned to February and March, when the various departments will be loaded with performances. Be sure to keep with my updates to find out when and where future MSM performances will take place.

Ch-Ch-Changes

The small vocal ensemble formerly known as Encore has changed its name. Coro is its new identity, and the group seems happy with the change. So why did they decide to change it?

"There just seemed to be a common misconception of what Encore was," Coro director Dr. Betsy Webber said. "A lot of people that booked us to sing were under the impression that we were a show choir.

"Incidentally, I came to find out that a lot of high schools named their show choirs Encore, so there was a misunderstanding going on there.

"We decided on Coro because it's simple and it means choir. When you look at an orchestral score and see the staff that says Coro, that means choir, so it was just a simple change that we decided to make. I like it a lot."

For those of you outside of MSM, Coro is a small vocal ensemble that performs a wide range of music.

"Coro sings 18th century music," Webber continued, "but we're not an 18th century choir. We sing contemporary music, but we're not a contemporary choir. Coro has a very eclectic repertoire."

So remember, if you're wondering when Encore's next performance is, you'll probably be wondering for a long time. They're called Coro now, and the name couldn't be any more suitable.

Ebony and Ivory

The piano department is preparing for the 13th annual International Piano Festival, which will be held Feb. 6 through 8 at the Moores Opera House.

This year's International Piano Festival artists include UH M.D. Anderson professor Horacio Gutierrez (Friday, 7:30 p.m.), Cullen professor Abbey Simon (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.) and guest pianist Angela Chang (Saturday, 3:30 p.m.). In addition, each artist will be offering master classes during the three-day event.

For tickets or more information, call (713) 743-3167.

Upcoming Events

Winds of Texas -- Monday, Moores Opera House. The concert includes chamber music for wind quintet featuring pieces by J.S. Bach and American composer Richard Willis. Tickets are $5 ($3 for students) at the door.

Rita Porfiris, violist - Tuesday, Moores Opera House. The faculty recital will include the Suite by Ernest Bloch and sonatas by Rebecca Clarke and Paul Hindemith. Pianist Scott Holshauser will accompany her. Tickets are $5 ($3 for students) at the door.

All About Jazz - Feb. 5, Cypress Creek High School. The MSM Jazz Ensemble is featured in the concert presented by Compaq Computer Corp. and Da Camera of Houston. Proceeds benefit the Cypress Fairbanks Elementary Music Technology Project. Tickets are $25 for benefit reserved seating, $10 adult and students under 18 are free. For tickets or more information, call (281) 897-4140.

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