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New Major Helps Students Make Music that Pops

By Steve Fyffe

It’s after hours and most classes on campus are already done for the day, but students in the songwriting workshop course are just getting started.

First-year student Alivia Nelson steps up to the microphone in a darkened studio at the School of Music and Dance and starts to sing her original song “Make Some Room,” while acclaimed jazz pianist and associate professor Toby Koenigsberg records her vocal track into a laptop computer.

Orchestra Next records the soundtrack or The Snow Queen at the University of Oregon School of Music & Dance.

Orchestra Next Breathes New Life Into The Snow Queen

By Steve Fyffe

One of the largest orchestral commissions in Oregon history is about to be performed by a unique chamber orchestra that was created to offer students the rare opportunity to be mentored and perform alongside professional musicians and faculty members from the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.

It’s a collaboration between Orchestra Next and The Eugene Ballet, along with Portland-based composer Kenji Bunch, on a reimagining of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic tale "The Snow Queen.”

A special camera provides a 360-degree view of the Oregon Marching Band in new series of videos.

New 360-Degree Videos Capture UO Game-Day Experience

For anyone who’s ever wondered what it would be like to perform with the Oregon Marching Band in front of a packed crowd at Autzen Stadium, a new series of 360-degree “virtual reality” videos are about as close as it comes to the real thing.

“Stepping into Autzen is an awe-inspiring event,” said Nick Bonnema, a psychology major from Beaverton who plays trombone in the band. “(These videos) allow them to experience the game as if they’re there, instead of seeing just what the director of the video wants them to see.”

Ode to the Future

Five high school students from across Oregon were chosen to work with professional composer and Philip H. Knight professor of music Robert Kyr to compose variations on Beethoven's most famous work – the "Ode to Joy" theme from his Ninth Symphony.

Watch their reactions as the Eugene Symphony performs their finished piece in front of a live audience for the first time.

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