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Great Arts at Eastern talks with Dustin Seifert about the upcoming annual POPs Concert at ENMU

GENTRY:  And now Great Arts at Eastern, coming to you from the Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I'm Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is Dustin Seifert of ENMU’s Department of music, he will conduct the annual Pops Concert, which will be released via the Music Department's YouTube channel tomorrow November 13th. Thank you very much for joining me today.  

SEIFERT:  Good afternoon.  

GENTRY:  Now 2020 has been a challenging year for the entire planet. How have you adapted as a bandleader to keep the river of music flowing?  

SEIFERT:  Well, our number one priority throughout the fall semester as well the end of last spring too, was to maintain connection. And in addition to maintaining the connection hopefully add some musical value by projects that we have encourage students to take part in; and also, guest lectures and lectures that have been presented on topics that we would not have enough time to cover in a typical band rehearsal. So, but is that a two or a three-pronged approach connection, and offering things that are unique to try to keep the students bonded to the ensemble and to one another.  

GENTRY:  Right and then you're also trying to keep them connected to your audiences. I notice on the Fine Arts calendar, which folks can find it at enmu.edu/fineartsevents; there are concerts, and so tell us a little bit about the pops concert.  

SEIFERT:  Well, all of the concerts we've done so far have been virtual. By that they are released by a certain date and therefore people to be viewed on their own time. The Pops Concert which is upcoming tomorrow- or Friday- I'm sorry. it'll be on Friday, will be recording of William Byrd’s Suite Movement No. 1, The Earl of Oxford's March with members of the wind Symphony recording themselves remotely. And then through the wonders of modern mixing, a full band performance will be created. in addition to that component, we will have video of each of Our Friends of Music Scholarship Competition winners performing their solos; so, it should be a very well-balanced concert, and it's one that helps us remember and celebrate the great successes of the Friends of Music organization and raising much needed scholarship money-  

GENTRY:  Right. 

SEIFERT:  For our music students.  

GENTRY:  Yes, I wanted to ask you about that. Normally the Pops Concert is a is something that is paid you know that folks pay to come to so how can listeners support music scholarships this year. 

SEIFERT:  Listeners could support music scholarships by making direct contributions to the ENMU Foundation. and those donations could be targeted very specifically within the Department to piano, vocal, or instrumental majors, or designated to our department's general scholarship fund. 

GENTRY:  Right and what is the role of the University Friends of Music in this tradition. 

SEIFERT:  In addition to providing all of the organization, the friends of music secures the venue, does the decorating, provides printed programs, and also the flow of the evening. So, their contributions in addition to monetary contributions are physical in terms of attendance in the support that they offer the students with him an ensemble.  

GENTRY:  Great and that's that tradition goes back 50 years, doesn't it with the Friends of Music? 

SEIFERT:  Yes. 

GENTRY:  Excellent and so how can our listeners find the pops concert  

SEIFERT:  Simple search on YouTube for ENMU Department of music will bring up our channel; and you will find our video there towards the top of the feed as soon as it is released; which fingers crossed we hope will be on Friday. There are always interesting technical challenges encountered when working with students remotely, but this is actually the third virtual concert recording we've prepared. So, I think we're getting pretty good at this.  

GENTRY:  Great, well the Pops Concert will be available tomorrow; that's Friday. Via the Music Department's YouTube page. Go to www.ENMU.edu/MusicPerformances. Thank you, Dustin Seifert, for visiting Great Arts at Eastern and thanks for our listeners. This is KENW, Your Public Radio Network.