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Showcase Is a ‘Musical Journey’ with Iowa Central Community College

Iowa Central Community College is ready to showcase its talented music department students in “A Musical Journey.”

The concert will be Wednesday at 1 p.m.; and Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. at Decker Auditorium on the Iowa Central Campus. The concert is free.

Will Lopes, director of Vocal Music, and Paul Bloomquist, director of Instrumental Music, describe the concert as a journey through styles and multiple lands.

The the concert will begin with the premiere of a piece written by Lopes. Lopes describes it as a Lent or Easter piece. It features the choir and strings, and will also incorporate a multimedia element.

“People experience music differently,” said Lopes. “I want them to experience art in a way that they never experienced it before. I want people to be engaged in all of those elements — dance, rhythm, visual, and sound — so people can have a full experience.”

The Concert Choir will be performing heavily classic pieces and gospel music, as well as songs in African, Portuguese, and Latin. There will be featured songs from movies such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Selma,” which will also feature a local rapper as a guest artist.

A medley from the musical “Hamilton” which will be performed by the Encore Singers.

Vocal Jazz will introduce some pop tunes into the mix as well.

Preshow music will be provided by the brass ensemble while guests are being seated.

Lopes said he wants to take the audience on a journey.

“During the African piece, I want you to go to Africa somewhere. When we are singing a Brazilian song, I want you to be in Brazil. During ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ I want you to be at a Queen show somewhere. That is the moment that we are trying to create with these ensembles.”

Lopes and Bloomquist hope their audiences will always count on the concerts at Iowa Central to be not “just one more evening to listen to some music.” They hope to create the mindset that an Iowa Central concert will always have a “wow” moment that can take an audience member to a whole new place.

The two directors said they want the audience to know that “Musical Journey” is not a choir or band recital.

They want to show the unity of the students really working together to create this show. The students are not just singing or playing their instruments. They are also helping behind the scenes.

“There is actually another show that nobody sees,” said Bloomquist. “It’s the one behind the curtain. The transitions are seamless, but ultimately there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes.”

He added, “There’s not a lot of room left on the map. The band is playing Armenian dances. So, we’re taking people to Armenia, too.

Lopes and Bloomquist will be honoring some of the outgoing sophomores at the concert, as they will be taking the next step toward pursing a music career after graduating from ICCC in May.

“I’ve worked with them since I got here and they are moving forward to pursue a career,” said Lopes. “Hopefully what we’ve done this year will be memorable for them not only as musicians, but also as a professional.”

“Showcase is a culminating experience,” said Bloomquist. “We’ve worked since Day One to build to this. It’s always bittersweet. It’s hard to see what you’ve created, who you’ve created it with … to let it go.”