For release: October 20, 2010
For press information, contact Carol Morse (901) 678-2279
Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, the University
of Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Choirs will perform movements I, IV and V of Gustav
Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection). The concert is scheduled for 7:30 pm, November
1, 2010, in Harris Concert Hall on the University of Memphis campus (3775 Central
The Symphony was first performed in 1895 and is considered one of Mahler’s greatest
works. Its theme reflects his lifelong view of the beauty of afterlife and resurrection.
According to Maestro Pu-Qi Jiang, performing the work is a major undertaking that
involves not only the orchestra, but choirs, an off-stage brass ensemble, and soprano
and alto soloists. Approximately one-third of the School’s students will be performing
at the concert.
Dr. Jiang came to the U of M ten years ago – the same year the department of music
became the School of Music. Since then he has observed tremendous growth in both the
quality and quantity of music students. He attributes the quality of student musicians
to the quality of teaching by the School’s faculty. “We are no longer a student’s
orchestra at a local level. We have moved forward to the metropolitan level.” he says.
The study of music at the University of Memphis spans 98 years, beginning with the
1912 recognition of music as a specialized area of study at the West Tennessee Normal
School. Thirty-five years later, a separate music department was established and by
1962 both the bachelor of music and master of music degrees were offered. In 2000,
a generous endowment by Rudi and Honey Scheidt established the School of Music. Currently,
the School offers degrees in 29 areas of concentration and has the distinction of
being Tennessee’s only doctoral degree-granting program in music.