Apr 062011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

When the music department chairs were deciding who would perform at CSU’s first alumni concert, violin teacher Ron Francois jumped at the chance to suggest his former student, Chris Jusell.

Tonight at 7:30 in the University Center for the Arts, Jusell will give a solo violin performance for an audience filled not only with music lovers but also his proud professor.

Francois, who taught Jusell both violin and chamber music during his time at the university, has nothing but praise for his former student.

“Chris was just a terrific student and an inspiration to a lot of people,” Francois said. “I’m sure everybody’s curious to see what he’s been up to.”

During his time at CSU, 2008 graduate Chris Jusell was more than a learner –– he was an innovator of music.
“He did a lot of extra work for the (music) department,” Francois said.

As an undergraduate, Jusell served as concertmaster of the CSU orchestra, and he arranged music for both himself and the CSU opera “The Child and the Apparition.”

Jusell’s undeniable contributions to the university made him a perfect choice to kick off the UCA’s new series of alumni concerts, said Jennifer Clary, director of marketing for the School of the Arts.

Every semester, the UCA will now host a performance highlighting either one or multiple alumni of the School of the Arts, and the talented former students will show off a multitude of artistic styles.

“We are open to anything,” Clary said.

The alumni concert series is sponsored by the alumni relations program and new Friends of the UCA, which is a membership-based program that started last fall.

“Friends of the UCA is a nice way to interact with not only alumni but also community members who are interested in the arts,” Clary said.

At tonight’s concert, Jusell, who also plays violin with the local band Danielle Ate the Sandwich, will perform classical pieces including Bach’s “Partita No. 1 in B minor” and contemporary, self-arranged songs including “Hop” by Paul Lansky.

“I played and arranged pieces by these composers a lot at CSU and after. The pieces I am going to play are a good indicator of what I’ve been up to since graduation,” Jusell said in a statement made to the School of the Arts.

Tonight’s concert will be held in the Organ Recital Hall, and attendees will get the chance to speak with Jusell during a “Meet the Artist Reception” after his performance.

Staff writer Colleen McSweeney can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

The concert:

  • What: Alumni Concert, Special Guest: Chris Jusell
  • Where: Organ Recital Hall, UCA
  • When: Thurs., April 7, 7:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $7 for CSU students, $1 for youth (2 – 17), $12 for adult
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