NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s newly formed Commercial Orchestra will open for Harry Connick Jr. during his Nashville concert Friday, July 12 at The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel.
The Commercial Orchestra is collaboration between the TSU Orchestra and the Commercial Music Ensemble. The group is composed of University students and faculty members from the music department.
“This is something new for both groups,” TSU music professor Deidre Emerson said. “The seed for this was planted last year when we combined the groups for a performance and it was well received.”
Emerson, TSU’s orchestra conductor, thinks the performance will be great opportunity for the students and the University. “We are grateful to Fontanel for extending the invitation for us to perform,” she said. “It is a different kind of exposure for our music department and I am sure our students will benefit from the evening.”
The Commercial Orchestra has rehearsed regularly for the past two months blending strings, horns, keyboards and the talents of two vocalists into a unique sound. “The audience will be treated to a variety music genres,” Emerson said. “Our performance will include pop music, R&B, jazz and a few surprises.”
Dr. Mark Crawford, TSU music professor and director of the Commercial Music Ensemble, is accustom to performing locally and internationally with his group and welcomes the opportunity as well.
“We see the show as recruitment and an opportunity to showcase the talents of our students,” Crawford said.
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With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university and is a comprehensive, urban, coeducational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912 Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.