Arts Madness Revives Cedarville Tradition

The music and worship department is hosting a weeklong event called Arts Madness that will highlight various artistic talents. The event will take place in the Stevens Student Center and will showcase various musical performances, the spring play (“The 39 Steps”) and artwork displays. The activities will kick off on March 28 and will run through April 3.

Michael DiCuirci, senior professor of music, is the mastermind behind Arts Madness.

“I’ve been pushing for it because we needed something with some sizzle in the spring semester,” he said.

DiCuirci said he was looking for something in the spring that would rival the Christmas concert, which attracts approximately 3,400 people each year.

The idea behind the name “Arts Madness” was born in what Beth Porter, the music and worship department chair and associate professor of vocal music, said made sense because it was around the same time as March Madness.

The Pops Concert opens the weekend on Friday. It began at Cedarville in 1986 and was held in the fieldhouse. The tradition lasted for about 11 years.

“Because of calendar changes of the university, the Pops Concert kind of got pushed out of the way … and so this year we just tried to revive it and bring it back,” Porter said.

In years past, Cedarville has hosted concerts such as The Masterworks concert that featured a large choral piece with orchestra accompaniment. About a year ago the music and worship department decided to renovate the Masterworks concert for this year by bringing back the Pops Concert and making Arts Madness a weeklong celebration of the arts.

The Pops Concert will be held in the dining hall, which will be transformed into a concert hall, with musical pieces and hors d’oeuvres beginning at 7 p.m.

“There are groups that will be in rotating performances from about 7 to 8 p.m. upstairs in the lobby of the SSC (Stevens Student Center) but also downstairs in The Hive,” Porter said. “And then we go to the main stage in the dining hall from 8:30 to 10.”

Porter said the night will conclude with two concerts from 10:30 to 11:30, one featuring the jazz band in the dining hall and one featuring the Celtic rock band, Homeland, in the Hive.

Homeland is a four-man band that formed in 1999, based out of Columbus. Scott McGillivray, who plays electric and acoustic guitars and does lead vocals for Homeland, and Jeremy Washburn, who plays drums and does vocals for the group, are Cedarville alumni.

“I’m kind of excited to be playing at my alma mater,” McGillivray said. “My dad is on faculty and my mom just retired from the post office. I grew up around the area.”

McGillivray described their band as “American music, Celtic attitude” and said they will give people a different experience and a chance to “rock out.”

Choralation is another group that will be performing on opening night. The group of 35 students is a select choir from Cedarville High School.

Jason Mahan, director of music at the high school, said the choir practices year-round during a regular 30-minute class period.

Mahan said this Arts Madness performance is taking place in the midst of several other performances they’ve had. The high school choir had a concert on March 4 titled “Around the World in 90 Minutes” that featured choir music in 14 foreign languages.

The high school choir also just had its district concert where it received a superior rating and will attend a state competition later this spring. On May 21, the choir will put on a Broadway musical-themed performance.

“This concert (during Arts Madness) is a highlight from one of the things from our world music concert and also a preview in some ways of our Broadway show that will be coming up,” Mahan said.

All events taking place on March 28 will require a $7 ticket that can be picked up at Will Call at 6:30 p.m. that night. All events afterward will be free with the exception of the play.

Arts Madness Will Continue Next Week

Other musical performances during Arts Madness feature: an a capella concert, a faculty recital by Porter called “All Kidding Inside” and a saxophone concert. April 3 through 5 will showcase the annual student art exhibition.

Cedarville’s a cappella group, The Inversions, will perform on Monday, March 31, in the Dixon Ministry Center Recital Hall. Jeremy Witt, a junior member of The Inversions, said they perform songs that are modern, such as songs by Imagine Dragons and Katy Perry.

“We will be releasing an EP that people can purchase and possibly win a giveaway at the concert,” Witt said.

Sophomore Robert Rhodes, who is also a member of The Inversions, said they will focus on audience participation at the event.

“(Arts Madness) is a celebration of all things art and the different directions God has given us to take art,” Rhodes said.

Chet Jenkins, adjunct professor for music and worship, will also perform at Arts Madness. Jenkins will perform saxophone with some of his current saxophone students in a Bach’s Lunch.

Jenkins is a 1997 graduate of Cedarville. He said performing as a private instructor is different from performing as a student.

“It’s enjoyable because I get to challenge my students to make it their own,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins and others involved said they are looking forward to the collaboration and variety between all the music groups.

“Just about every musical entity and every musician is involved in this in some way or another,” DiCuirci said, “so it will be a cast of hundreds.”

Kathryn Sill is a sophomore journalism major and an arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. She loves running, dogs and eating food.

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