School of Music and Dance students prepare for Winter at the Balboa: A SDSU Holiday Concert

180 student musicians will perform in the historic downtown venue in an annual concert that gives them experience performing in a large concert venue.

November 18, 2022
School of Music and Dance student conducts piece at Winter at the Balboa.

The SDSU School of Music and Dance will host its second annual holiday offering, “Winter at the Balboa: An SDSU Holiday Concert,” at the historic Balboa Theatre in downtown San Diego on December 1. 

This one-night, invitation-only concert features over 180 students in five ensembles including Chamber Choir, Concert Choir, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and Chamber Brass Ensemble.

The audience, made up of SDSU staff, faculty, music students, and their families, can expect an immersive, engaging concert experience with soaring classics and familiar holiday tunes across a wide variety of musical styles.  Repertoire includes Gloria by Randol Alan Bass, Sleigh Ride, Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration, and more.

“One of the most important parts of this concert for the students in the School of Music and Dance is the opportunity to perform in a beautiful space like the Balboa Theatre” said director of bands, Shannon Kitelinger. “We don’t currently have an acoustically dynamic space to perform on campus for our large music ensembles and this theatre gives our students the opportunity to hear what they sound like in a world-class venue.”. 

Student Luke Loprete understands the importance of this performance on his career and the community. “It is very impactful performing on that stage for not only the SDSU community, but also the San Diego community, as a whole. The Balboa Theatre is a crucial landmark of Downtown San Diego, and there is always a special aura that surrounds the performances there. As a music major, it is a great experience to produce a concert in a professional setting like the Balboa Theatre. Being able to present our art to the community in such a grand way is also very fulfilling,” said Loprete. 

This is the second year that the SDSU Holiday Concert has been held at the Balboa Theatre to complement students’ education.

Senior Music Student Amanda Ezell has been greatly impacted by the program. “Three years after being accepted to SDSU, I can say that transferring here as a music major was one of the best things that has happened in my life. It was exactly the kind of program and learning environment I needed to help me continue growing as a percussionist and musician, and I do not think I would have discovered my passion for music theory or be applying to graduate programs without my experiences here,” said Ezell. “Between these incredible educators, and the wonderfully supportive musicians with whom I have been fortunate enough to make music, I will be forever grateful for my time as a music major here at SDSU.”

The School of Music and Dance fosters excellence through professional and personal development to develop well rounded scholars and artists. 

Student Jaime Burke is thankful for the support from music students and staff. “The pursuit of my Masters Degree has provided me with more opportunities than I could have ever imagined for performance and personal growth through music. I absolutely love the sense of community and the excitement among the students in the music department, and I am proud to hold both my bachelors and soon-to-be masters from the San Diego State University School of Music and Dance,” said Burke. 

This year’s event is sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of Student Affairs, University Relations, SDSU Alumni, and the Dean’s Office of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

Kitelinger shares his gratitude for the ongoing support of the music program. “We really want to express a huge thank you to President’s office and the PSFA Dean’s office for this event,” said Kitelinger. “Many of our students have never had a chance to perform in a venue like this, and the support of those offices has brought it to life the last two fall semesters.” 

Event Details: Winter at the Balboa: an SDSU Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 7:00pm

Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101

Due to the high level of interest in this event, if you have RSVP’d and are unable to attend please release your ticket back to the PSFA Dean’s Office or the Office of the President.

About the School of Music and Dance:

The School of Music and Dance provides specialized instruction and career development opportunities for students by creating a dynamic artistic environment based on the unique strengths and knowledge of our accomplished faculty. We emphasize high quality performance experiences for students, professional engagement and applied practical training in music and dance. Each student’s career aspirations are advanced under the supervision of a supportive and skilled faculty.

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