Skip to Top NavigationSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
Ferris State University BulldogFerris State University Logo

Ferris Music Center to Feature Traditional, Focused Presentations and Collaborative Holiday Concert


The Ferris State University Jazz Band will present a holiday concert on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., one of six concerts offered by the Ferris Music Center during the Fall 2022 semester.

Several musical performances in the Fall 2022 semester are ahead at Ferris State University campus as scores of students and community members offer their time and talents in Williams Auditorium.

The Ferris Jazz Band’s fall concert opened the schedule on Wednesday, Nov. 9. Days later, Ferris’ West Central Concert Band was excited to present the 19th annual Veterans Concert on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Director Scott Cohen explained they were proud to pay tribute to those who have served in the U.S. military.

“We enjoy a great response from the community for this concert, with many local veterans, active military members, and their families attending each year,” Cohen said.

On Sunday, Nov. 20, the West Central Chamber Orchestra will host its fall concert at 4 p.m. Dale Skornia, a director and an associate professor of music, said the plan is to present a wide variety of composers’ works.

“Our audience will have Mozart to enjoy, a jazz piece, a selection from noted Midwestern composer William Hofeldt and a teaser for ‘A Symphonic Santa Sunday! A Family Holiday Christmas,’ the music department’s collaborative performance on Sunday, Dec. 11,” Skornia said. “That will be ‘Bass-ically Christmas,’ lending itself to our formidable string bass section. I will play a saxophone solo, and we will also offer music from the popular series ‘Game of Thrones.’”

Skornia said the West Central Chamber Orchestra is a broad-based assembly of musical talent.

“We have a near equal mix of dedicated Ferris students performing, along with an interesting mix of people from around this area,” Skornia said. “That includes a music therapist, an area music teacher and a performer and instructor who has been active in concerts here for 60 years. There are so many wonderful people.”

Forty voices will sing on Wednesday, Nov. 30. The concert choir will present its fall concert, “Songs for the Earth,” at 7:30 p.m. Katie McInnis, an adjunct instructor and retired choral director from the Big Rapids Public Schools, said that “Songs for the Earth” will speak to the audience.

“Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we all had a break in our common schedules, where getting outside was one of the few releases people had,” McInnis said. “The songs featured in this performance are about nature and the environment and reinforce the feelings of joy, wonder and sanctuary our planet provides. Our collaborative pianist, Dr. Andrew Focks, will also be featured as he performs his arrangement of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘Music of the Night.’ This concert will be even more special because we have invited community singers and high school vocalists who participated in the District One Mass Choral Festival of the Michigan School Vocal Music Association to join us in singing several selections.”

In December, Williams Auditorium will host the Jazz Band Holiday Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. and the Holiday Band and Orchestra Concert on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 4 p.m.

“That evening, we will have various holiday classics for our audience,” said Matt Moresi, an associate professor of Music. “I am pleased that the jazz band commits to three hours a week each week and prioritizes its commitment to keep perfect attendance at practice so that we might offer our best performances.”

“The Christmas concert is an exciting collaboration for us,” McInnis said. “We will have Acapella works, solos and holiday favorites supported by the band and orchestra. Our singers are very dedicated, with many coming from high school choirs, allowing them to excel with our group.”

“I find this fall’s schedule to be bittersweet, as I am set to retire from Ferris’ faculty,” Skornia said. “I have had an exciting and fulfilling career, having worked with dedicated peers and students here.”

“Those who attend our fall concerts will see community members among our student performers,” Cohen said. “These performances enrich the campus and greater community and are offered without charge, with all ages welcome to enjoy the music.”