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Celebration of the Arts

Engineers make music. Mathematicians show their brushwork. And dancers take the stage. Nearly 250 University of Dayton students from almost every field of study will participate in the 16th annual Celebration of the Arts, an evening designed to bring the campus and greater Dayton community together through exhibits and performances.

The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, in the Schuster Center for the Performing Arts, 1 W. Second St. in downtown Dayton.

It offers undergraduates the opportunity to perform and display their work in one of the finest performing arts centers in the country, said Sharon Davis Gratto, Graul Endowed Chair in Arts and Languages and director of the World Music Choir.

It also gives students the chance to be creative, said Molly Savage, a junior studying chemical engineering who will perform “Magnificat” with the University orchestra and the University Chorale.

“As an engineer, I often spend my time working with high-level math and science, so playing violin with the University orchestra allows me to be creative in a different kind of way,” she said. “One of my favorite things about Celebration of the Arts is that it is truly a celebration of a shared human experience. Each student knows the amount of hard work that is put into what is being performed, and it is rewarding to have someone come up afterward and say, ‘Wow, that really took my breath away.’”

This year’s celebration coincides with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and will honor King’s legacy.

“Our artistic creation and collaboration will speak to his dream that we may one day ‘transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood,’” Gratto said.

Student artwork will be on display from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Wintergarden, and visitors can watch for pop-up performances by theater and dance students. At 8 p.m., the University’s student performing arts groups in music, dance and theater take the Schuster center stage. The Celebration culminates with all participants performing the "Kyrie" from guest composer-in-residence Glenn McClure’s St. Francis in the Americas: A Caribbean Mass.

Tickets are free but required, and available to the public by calling Ticket Center Stage at 937-228-3630 or online at ticketcenterstage.com.

The evening is part of the University’s annual Brother Joseph W. Stander Symposium, set for April 18, an alternate day of learning which recognizes academic excellence in undergraduate and graduate education.

Meagan Pant, assistant director of news and communication

View footage from the 2017 Celebration of the Arts >

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