The Front Row: University Choir Spring Concert

Mar 1, 2018

Dr. Alan Zabriskie, Director of Choral Studies at the Texas Tech University School of Music, visits with the Front Row to talk about their upcoming concert.

How do you pick music for a concert?

There are a couple of different things that come into play. One of them is that I remember that I’m always a teacher, so pedagogy is first and foremost in my mind as I try to pick a variety of styles, time periods, perhaps something that my students are not familiar with, or haven’t been exposed to, so that we can delve in and learn about that particular skill set for that particular style of music.

And then of course I program with the audience in mind. I’m creating both a sense of variety in time period and style, different accompaniments, some extended works or two to be the center focus of the concert, to build around. And then to kind of create a story as well. The title of this week’s concert is "visions of entrancing sound," which is a short quote from a piece that were doing…

So you like an underlying theme, but also a variety within that?

That’s correct, in most cases. Sometimes I don’t do a theme, but I find that for me as I select a concert, an hour concert or so, that a theme really helps me unify the thought process behind the music. For me too, it makes the concert more interesting both to perform and to listen to.

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.