Founded in the Fall semester of 2016, Katzen Soundbites is a lunchtime performance series that highlights the talent of students and faculty members. It is a collaboration between the Department of Performing Arts (consisting of the Music, Theatre, Musical Theatre, and Dance programs) and the AU Library. Performances are held in the acoustically and architecturally unique Katzen Rotunda and occur sporadically throughout the semester, during the 12:35-12:55 class break.
Past performances have included folk violin and foot percussion, features of works by award-winning composers, and musical theatre selections. Students may perform if they are enrolled in music lessons or participate in ensembles, with instructor endorsement. Typically, students in class music lessons (namely voice and guitar) perform in Soundbites towards the end of the semester to showcase what they have learned.
“[Soundbites] offers the students an opportunity to perform, and oftentimes there aren’t many performance opportunities,” said voice instructor Kelly Smith Jones. Smith Jones teaches Class Voice and private voice lessons. “It’s a chance to bring the community together so they can see exactly what we do in the Department of Performing Arts.”
“We have a lot of students here who have an interest in what we do in the Department but they’re not necessarily majoring in it, so they see that they can still participate [at AU] without focusing just on that. If they see Class Voice doing it, they might think ‘Wow! I can sing, too,’ or ‘Hey, I’m still singing,’ so it kind of offers them that opportunity.”
Follow the AU Library on social media for information about upcoming Soundbites performances!