A theater building rivaling the Metropolitan Opera, three performance halls, more than three dozen ensembles and over a thousand performances a year — yes that’s all at the Jacobs School of Music.
The Jacobs School of Music is one of the most prestigious music schools in the country, and with so many opportunities to watch students perform, there’s no better time than now to attend a vocal recital, jazz performance, opera or ballet.
To find a performance, the Jacobs School of Music Events Calendar is a good place to start. The calendar details all upcoming events at Jacobs, letting you know where something is taking place and what time it starts.
Performances are often held at either Auer Hall, Recital Hall, Ford-Crawford Hall or the Musical Arts Center. The performances are always distinct, ranging from student or faculty instrumental recitals to vocal performances, jazz performances and orchestral concerts.
A majority of these events have free admission, and the ones that are ticketed often have reduced prices for IU students. With such a unique variety of musical art to enjoy, events services specialist, Katherine Carnaggio, encouraged students to take advantage of these opportunities.
“Jacobs is the best place to start,” Carnaggio said. “You’ll never be able to experience that high level of music for free again.”
Despite such technically complex pieces being performed, Carnaggio explained that a deep understanding of the work or the artistic field is not necessary to attend and enjoy a recital. In just one performance, she felt that an audience could feel the hard work put in by the performer to sing or play their best.
“You definitely do not have to understand the composers or the backstory,” Carnaggio said. “Just seeing the dedication and talent of peers can be a source of inspiration and motivation for us all. You just have to feel to appreciate music.”
On the busiest week, there are almost 60 performances going on at Jacobs, all open to the public to watch and enjoy. Acting managing director of IU opera and ballet theater, Catherine Compton, emphasized the value of watching a live performance in person, even if someone was new to the notion.
“There’s something that can be very moving when you’re sharing a space with a lot of other people and experiencing that together,” Compton said. “In attending performances in general, it can be something that connects us to other people and to our shared experiences.”
No matter one’s major, no matter one’s knowledge of the arts, Compton said that anyone was always welcome into the Jacobs community to feel the transcendent nature of music and art. The operas, while old, are continuously being told in a fresh and inventive way to appeal to the changing world. The art of love and life, sometimes limited by linguistics, are still understood through timeless music.
“The music transcends the language and brings you to a different level of understanding,” Compton said.
A full list of performances at the Musical Arts Center can be found on the Opera and Ballet Theater website. A dress code is not required to see any of these performances, but if you feel the desire to dress up with your friends and enjoy some music at Jacobs — embrace it.