Music in May Grand Finale Concert on Saturday Afternoon Sure to Delight
Pacific University's 71st annual Music in May festival, a three-day gathering that annually draws more than 400 high school musicians from throughout the Northwest, concludes on Saturday afternoon, May 25 with a grand finale concert featuring the participants performing in band, choral and orchestra ensembles.
The concert begins at 3 p.m. and takes place in the Stoller Center gymnasium on the north side of the university's Forest Grove Campus. General admission is $8, with senior citizens and youth admitted for $6.
Pacific music professor, Dr. Michael Burch-Pesses, who has directed Music in May for the past 23 years, told the Forest Grove News-Times the concert "is always a smash," sure to delight families of friends of the performers, as well as music afficiandos.
Last year, in celebration of Music in May's 70th anniversary, Burch-Pesses joined fellow Pacific professors Scott Tuomi and Dijana Ihas in conducting the concert, marking the first time the event did not feature guest conductors.
The 2019 concert resumes the tradition of bringing a trio of distinguished guest conductors from throughout the country to instruct and inspire the festival participants to learn and perform a robust selection of challenging music literature.
“What we like to do is invite people with a national reputation and somebody who is well known as a clinician and someone who is an excellent rehearsal conductor,” Burch-Pesses told the News-Times.
This year's three guest conductors are Dr. James Mick from Ithaca College (orchestra), Gary Kent Walth, Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (choir) and Dr. Mark J. Walker, Director of Bands from Troy University.
Pacific University's Music Department has seen explosive growth in recent years, necessitating additional practice facilities for students, and highlighted as well by the addition of the university's new bachelor of music education licensure degree program for aspiring pre-K-12 music educators.