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Beyond the Stars: A Cosmic Collaboration

A model of the “Patriot,” is stored in the Clark Aerospace room until the “Beyond the Stars” concert on March 18. Its real-life counterpart is a two-stage 14-foot rocket that weighs 55 pounds. (Preston Hendrickson/The Independent)

It was a match made in heaven.

The Clark College Concert Choir and Concert Band worked with the aerospace program to create Beyond the Stars, a concert for Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the O’Connell Sports Center which will feature the theme “The Sky Above.” Aerospace students will present two projects in the O’Connell lobby entered into international college competitions.

Patriot, a propulsion rocket with the ability to go 10 kilometers into the air and plans for a drone will also be featured before the concert.

While the two programs won’t be performing music together,” said Shelly Williams, the music department coordinator, “The aerospace program will be providing extra people to hand out programs and collect donations for student scholarships.

Clark Aerospace director Keith Stansbury approached Clark band director Richard Inouye last Fall with the idea of collaborating together.

Stansbury’s eyes lit up when explaining why he suggested the idea. “I appreciate music enormously,” he said. When I go home today I will play my piano or stir my wood stove, and then I’ll do the other one second.”

Stansbury saw the French program handing out flyers and asking for donations at a concert and knew they were getting cut soon. He began to wonder who would support the music program.

“I had been wanting to do a piece on space, so when [Stansbury] came to me I was like ‘Man, that sounds fantastic.’” Inouye said. Inouye was also convinced by a number of students who came to Clark on music scholarships but majored in the engineering department.

Williams thinks the combination of interests is no coincidence. “The leftbrain kids who are good with counting also happen to be very good with music,” he said.

The choir’s performance features music from the 1500s to the 1980s, which questions the mysticism of the sky while showcasing technological advances humans made in the 20th century.

“Our first few pieces are in Italian, Latin and German, all looking up for slightly different reasons,” said Clark’s choir director Dr. Jacob Funk said. An Italian piece revolves around a man raging at the night sky for answers to why the woman he loves doesn’t love him back.

The choir will perform a piece titled “Singularity,” written by Timothy Michael Powell. Powell and Funk are choral directors from Kansas City who have never met. “I just moved away from Kansas City when he moved to Kansas City,Funk said. He actually found Powell’s work on MusicSpoke, a website where composers sell their sheet music.

The band will play three pieces created in the 20th century, which includes a piece from Gustav Holst’s, “The Planets.”

About Preston Hendrickson (7 Articles)
Lover of music and movies, dry humor, and obscure Seinfeld references. Multimedia editor of the Indy. https://twitter.com/indyvideos

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