Opening Night at the Scheidt

Join us for a spectacular evening as we celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music! The Opening Night at the Scheidt is a one-of-a-kind event that offers a rare opportunity to experience the incredible talent and rich musical heritage that has the University of Memphis for over a century.

Immerse yourself in a captivating musical journey featuring performances by our world-class faculty and exceptionally talented students. The evening promises diverse musical genres, from classical compositions to contemporary tunes that reflect the school’s illustrious history.

Learn about the pivotal moments, renowned alumni and the evolution of music education that have made the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music a true institution of excellence.

Guest alumnae will be Barbara Mashburn (BM’ 53) and Desire Soto (DMA ’23).

Barbara Mashburn is a musician, retired choral music teacher, and an alumna of the University of Memphis who contributes to several scholarships for the School of Music. 

Desiree Howe, soprano, is a doctoral alumni at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music who worked under the tutelage of Dr. Randal Rushing. Hailing from Texas, Desiree earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Texas Tech University. As a stage director and singer, Desiree is passionate about communicating relevant and important messages through music.

Performers for the event include a wide variety of renowned ensembles and soloists.

The University Symphony Orchestra offers study and performance opportunities for music majors pursuing bachelor’s to doctoral degrees and non-majors. The Orchestra has about 85 members. Approximately two-thirds are undergraduate and one-third are graduate students. orchestra members perform in University Opera productions and have the opportunity to play with many professional organizations in Memphis and the Mid-South.

University Singers is the flagship ensemble in the University’s Choral Program. Though composed primarily of undergraduate and graduate students within the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, the University Singers welcomes singers from all majors with a love for choral music. The ensemble presents a wide variety of repertoire through conceptual programming, enhanced by the practice of Choregie. Equipped with a robust performance schedule and annual touring schedule, the ensemble’s musicians deliver compelling performances to sold-out audiences both at home and abroad.

University Opera presents multiple performance possibilities, students gain experience in an ensemble, comprimario roles, young artist contracts and leading roles in classical and contemporary works. Opera workshops, vocal coaching and master classes focus on the many aspects of vocal performance and stage presentation. The University of Memphis Opera produces two operas with The University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra each year. Students work with professional designers and production personnel and can work backstage as a part of their total education.

The Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra has a long reputation of musical excellence at the University of Memphis. The group is comprised of 17 outstanding full-time university student musicians ranging from undergraduates through doctoral candidates. The ensemble performs a wide range of styles from composers Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington to modern composers such as Jim McNeely and Bob Brookmeyer. The group continually performs and records new student compositions, commissions, and new works from outside composers on an annual basis.

The University of Memphis Jazz Singers is comprised of 6 vocalists – 3 male, and 3 female. This group performs a wide range of music which consists of traditional arrangements of jazz standards, varying between acapella and with a rhythm section, contemporary fusion jazz, and is, occasionally, backed by the Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra.

Bluff City Brass is the premiere graduate brass ensemble at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. Members perform together for the duration of their studies, enabling the ensemble to prepare performance repertoire in great depth, and mature as musicians together. Each semester members enjoy presenting performances to a variety of audiences throughout the region.

The Lorraine String Quartet  is the graduate string quartet at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music that explores a diverse range of repertoire for preparation and performance, including works by composers of historically underrepresented genders, races, ethnicities, and cultural heritages. Members perform together for the duration of their studies, enabling the ensemble to prepare performance repertoire in great depth, and mature as musicians together.

Dr. Kevin Sanders, the director of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, shares his excitement for this amazing event.

“This year’s Opening Night at the Scheidt will be one for the history books – our first in the new Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center. We will celebrate our new season through a special performance of the university’s alma mater, stories from our alumni, and classical and commercial ensembles that take listeners through the School of Music’s rich 110-year history. It is going to be a magical evening for our students and the audience.”

Whether you’re a long-standing supporter, a music lover, or simply looking for an enchanting night of entertainment, the Opening Night at the Scheidt is an event not to be missed. Join us in celebrating 110 years of musical innovation and inspiration.

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