Gear up for a month of music, opportunity at Festival Miami

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The start of October marks the kickoff of the Frost School of Music’s Festival Miami, a month-long event focused on bringing a variety of music to the University of Miami and South Florida.

Open to students and community members alike, the festival focuses on four themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Creative American Music and Music of the Americas. These themes represent the upcoming performances, as well as the diverse genres that Frost embraces.

Shelton Berg, the dean at Frost and coordinator of Festival Miami, is enthusiastic about this year’s festival.

“Nothing demonstrates the power of the human spirit better than great music,” Berg said. “Audiences leave these performances uplifted in a way that only music can inspire.”

The festival caters to all musical tastes, featuring acts ranging from Broadway to jazz. Although Frost welcomes guest performers to campus for the festival, students and professors at the school are also featured throughout the month.

Professor Lawrence Lapin, the program director of jazz vocal performance, stresses the importance of these performances for students.

Along with exposing students to various music, the festival is “good for Frost students’ training,” providing performance experience and future contacts.

“It’s a highly professionally produced and performed series,” said Lapin, whose ensemble, Frost Jazz Vocal 1, is scheduled to perform with Roseanna Vitro on Oct. 25.

As a Florida local, Frost freshman Joshua Schwartz has attended many of the performances in the past, including an appearance by jazz musician Gunther Schuller.

“It’s a lot of music and a lot of fun,” he said.

Other past acts include Broadway star Noah Racey, Grammy Award-winner Ivan Lins and the Momentum Dance Company. This year’s festival opens on Tuesday with a free master class led by pianist Leon Fleisher. He will then conduct the Frost Symphony Orchestra on Thursday night at Gusman Concert Hall.

“Festival Miami is a reflection of who we are,” Berg said. “It celebrates the richness and diversity of music. The programming is as diverse and exciting as we have ever had, and I truly believe that every concert will be something special.”

The performances will take place at Gusman Concert Hall, Clarke Recital Hall, Knight Concert Hall and the BankUnited Center. Tickets differ in price depending on the performance, however, select concerts are free for UM students and/or Frost School students. All master classes are free.

Additionally, there are community outreach programs, such as Culture Shock Miami and the Golden Ticket program, which offers student discounts and free senior admissions to select shows.

For more information, visit festivalmiami.com.

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