What would a date on Valentine’s Day weekend be without some dancing?
Members of the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, musicians from Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University’s Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Chorale are putting on a Valentine’s Day ball Feb. 16 at the STAR Financial YMCA. It will take place in the gym from 6:45-9:30 p.m., according to Todd Guy, IWU Chorale director and Music Division chair.
Inspired by the October 2011 ball in which attendants wore masks and dressed up, MPO, IWU and Taylor musicians started planning for this event a year ago.
“[The Masquerade Ball] was so widely accepted and it had such great attendance,” said Guy. “We wanted to do something similar to that theme and still use the YMCA.”
The Valentine weekend ball will feature pieces from artists like Duke Ellington, Indiana artist Cole Albert Porter and a piece or two from “Les Miserables,” according to Chorale alto singer Rebecca Roy (sr).
Soprano and jazz vocalist Laynee Day (sr) added that Chorale will end the night with “Make Our Garden Grow” from Leonard Bernstein’s operatic adaptation of Voltaire’s “Candide.”
Guy said the dessert reception and first half of the concert, featuring the IWU Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo and Chorale, will start at 6:45 p.m. Payne’s Restaurant and Café from Gas City will provide gourmet desserts and coffee. Even though tickets for all 30 tables are sold out, Guy said anyone can still come and enjoy the performance during that time.
The MPO part of the performance will officially start at 7:30 p.m., which he said “includes all kinds of swing dance music – very romantic music for slow-dancing, or however you want to do it.”
“I think it’s a great date night,” Day said. “Myself personally, I’m bringing one of my friends from Chicago. We’re both competitive swing dancers, so we’ll be dancing all night long.”
“We have all this great electronic, digital music, but there’s nothing like experiencing something live, where you’re feeling the vibrations of the music,” Guy said. “The music just surrounds and engulfs you. It’s quite a bit different experience than just listening to it through a set of headphones. Students should really experience this type of music live.”