Fridays are wonderful days to wind down just before the weekend. Imagine sitting on a cozy sofa, listening to a live musical performance and watching the world of students pass by through a beautiful picture window.\nFor the last three years, the Leo R. Dowling International Center, 111 S. Jordan Ave., has provided an informal atmosphere for a variety of musical performances. Every Friday from noon to 1 p.m., the lounge of the International Center is transformed into a music theater. Students and faculty across the campus can gather to listen to music and take advantage of the free lunch provided. To make it easier for the audience, the center provides free parking in the upper lot of the Jordan Avenue parking garage for those who attend the lunchtime concerts and other center events. All you need to do is ask for a permit at the front desk.\nJohn Stevens, a retired history professor from IU-Purdue University at Indianapolis, noted the talent of the artists that come in to play.\n"The incomparable expertise of the performers who are drawn from the music school's vast reservoir of talent come to share their gifts to highly appreciative audiences," Stevens said.\nThe concerts generally draw a crowd of 25 to 30 people, and lunch is served in buffet style with sandwich makings, fruit and cookies. The luncheon provides an opportunity for artists to discuss their performance with the audience. \n"The luncheon portion is very nice because it provides a social conclusion to the event," Stevens said. "I've been coming to these concerts for two years, and I have never been disappointed."\nAnnisa Wanat, graduate assistant/student events coordinator at the International Center, said the musical luncheon provides something different than traditional concerts.\n"Most of the time when you listen to concerts, it is in a much more formal setting," Wanat said. "This gives the audience an opportunity to experience a concert in a more intimate venue. The acoustics are amazing."\nJunko Tanaka, office manager and PET program coordinator, agrees that the closeness of the artists to the audience is what makes the performances special.\n"You are in the same room with the musicians since it is held in a real friendly atmosphere. She said, It's really exciting. There is no stage in the lounge, so you are on the same level as the musicians, and that is really different."\nThe performances are timed so people who have an hour for lunch can come listen to some music and grab a free lunch. Performers are booked on a first-come, first-serve basis, provided all criteria are met. Each performance lasts about 30 minutes, and the performers can use this event as practice for their school performances and get free lunch at the same time. \n"We like to promote all kinds of activity at the International Center," Wanat said. "Although many of our concerts are classical music, we have also had several performances that concentrate on music from a certain country or region."\nSenior Paula Nogueira performed Friday, Feb. 22. She sang poems accompanied by music played by Jeff Litman and Pablo Lavendera.\nThe series is on hold this week because of spring break, but it will resume following the vacation.
Get stories like this in your inboxSubscribe