By Hannah Stafford, News Editor
A band that has played at the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall is coming to the stage of Hughes Auditorium. The Annie Moses Band (AMB) will perform a free concert on Sept. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
Once every semester, Asbury brings people and groups to campus to educate, entertain and engage students with various forms of art. The featured group of the Artist Series is selected by an Asbury-appointed committee, of which Donald Zent of the music department is the current chair.
“Our Artist Series seeks to provide students and the community in general with opportunities to hear outstanding artists from around the world, hoping that we can expand our appreciation for aesthetics in a variety of ways (music, drama, etc.), “ Zent said. “We want to push the boundaries of what we’re familiar with and be subjected to new things. In particular, things that are outstanding and extremely worthy of our consideration.”
“We want to push the boundaries of what we’re familiar with and be subjected to new things. In particular, things that are outstanding and extremely worthy of our consideration.”
The AMB, founded and mostly comprised of the Wolaver family, has performed at a number of venues, including the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. Over half of the members have been trained at Julliard School of Music, and they use their classical background to influence and shape their work with folk and spiritual music.
Instruments played in the nine-member band include violin, viola, cello, piano, keyboard, harp, mandolin, guitar (acoustic, electric and bass), as well as a range of vocals. The AMB’s recent albums have ranged from the spiritual journey in “Pilgrims and Prodigals,” to the American roots of “Rhapsody in Bluegrass” and most recently, the revitalizing of classic love songs in “The Art of the Love Song.” Students will have the opportunity to hear a little from each of these genres at the Artist Series Concert.
“They’re outstanding but also transitional,” Zent said. “They focus on arrangements of tunes that have been popular in the past and then rework them in a classical sense. I think there will be something there for everyone.”
Some of their more unique recordings have included arrangements of Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got a Name,” Dan Folgelberg’s “Longer” and the American Spiritual “Poor Wayfaring Stranger.” Zent and the rest of the committee believe this creativity is exactly what the program is about.
“I don’t see Artist Series as a program that will give us only what we already know,” Zent said. “I want it to be an educational arm of this institution.”
Music students will also be given the opportunity to learn directly under the lead soloist, Annie Wolaver, during a masterclass at 3:00. Following the concert that evening at 9:30, there will be a reception for all students in the Student Center.
Senior Caitlyn Malone, a violinist, is very excited about listening to and working with the group.
“I have followed the Annie Moses Band since the early days of my violin education, so having the opportunity to see them in person will be an incredible experience,” she said.