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USF School of Music

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Five world premieres will mark The Florida Orchestra's five decades of music-making in the Tampa Bay community. 

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF

Strolling through the halls of the University of South Florida School of Music you can hear students in various practice rooms. But inside Director of Jazz Studies Jack Wilkins' office, teachers are rehearsing too.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The Florida Orchestra's 2016-17 season wraps up May 19-21 with a trio of concerts featuring works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sclafani.

Now the first two names might even be familiar to people who don't know anything about classical music. But the third isn't that well known - at least not yet.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida Herd of Thunder is doing some holiday traveling.

More than two hundred members of the marching band are headed to Alabama Tuesday to back the football team at the Birmingham Bowl.

Then, on Wednesday, over a hundred of their fellow band members will be flying to Italy to march in the Rome New Year’s Parade.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

For the second time in four years, the University of South Florida Herd of Thunder Marching Band will ring in the New Year overseas – this time in Rome.

According to Matthew McCutchen, director of USF’s Athletic Bands, the Herd was invited to perform in the Rome New Year’s Parade by the same organization that invited them to perform in front of a half a million people in London’s New Year’s Day Parade in 2013.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

To borrow from the old adage about getting to Carnegie Hall, it takes a lot of practice to be a great classical musician.

But to become a great conductor, there’s not too much a would-be maestro can do, according to University of South Florida masters student Brent Douglas.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

Saturday's gala concert in St. Petersburg featuring Michael Feinstein wraps up a busy week for The Florida Orchestra, which is spending a few days on the Tampa campus of the University of South Florida.

HeatherRaffo.com

At some point in the future, a first of its kind play about the Iraq War might make its debut on Broadway - and what happens on stage at the University of South Florida Friday night may play an important part in its development.

The opera, "Fallujah," is a work in progress. Playwright Heather Raffo has been developing the biographical story of U.S. Marine Christian Ellis for about five years, starting shortly after Ellis met Charles Annenberg of the Annenberg Foundation.

"And as they befriended each other and got to talking, Christian said that he had dreamed of being an opera singer and Charlie Annenberg thought, 'Let's give Christian music lessons,' and as their friendship continued, he said, 'Why don't we make an opera of your life?'" Raffo said.

Aimee Blodgett / USF News

You know the old adage, "What does it take to get to Carnegie Hall?"

The USF Wind Ensemble is finding out that not only does it take "Practice, practice, practice," it also takes "Money, money, money!"

The ensemble is one of only three bands scheduled to perform at the sold-out 12th Annual New York Wind Band Festival showcase concert March 4th. It takes place at Carnegie Hall, which USF Director of Bands and Professor of Conducting John Carmichael calls the "most prestigious concert venue in America."

USF College of the Arts

It's a concert where smartphones and tablets aren't frowned upon--they're actually a part of the show!

This week's University Beat has a preview of Louder Than Ever Before, a multimedia, interactive concert performed by the band "Touch," which plays all of its music on iPads.

The concert is Friday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m. in USF's School of Music Concert Hall.

Ryan Dillow / WUSF Public Media

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

It's an old joke, but USF researchers are putting that concept to the test, as they look at what piano training can teach us about how we learn.

“The purpose of this research is to examine the effects of intense musical training, in the form of piano training, on auditory processing, cognitive abilities and bimanual coordination throughout the lifespan,” said Dr. Jennifer Bugos, an instructor in the USF School of Music.  

In other words, the research is attempting to determine what piano classes teach us about how we listen, learn and then coordinate our actions.