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APSU's popular Halloween Concert returns for 32nd year on Oct. 28

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – David Steinquest, Austin Peay State University professor of music, sat rubbing his gray beard, looking a little tired. For thirty-two years, he’s hosted the APSU Department of Music’s wildly popular Halloween Percussion Concert, and each fall, he tries to top the previous year’s performance.

“This is the biggest one ever,” he said, slumping in his chair. “I might have to just quit now.”

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – David Steinquest, Austin Peay State University professor of music, sat rubbing his gray beard, looking a little tired. For thirty-two years, he’s hosted the APSU Department of Music’s wildly popular Halloween Percussion Concert, and each fall, he tries to top the previous year’s performance.

“This is the biggest one ever,” he said, slumping in his chair. “I might have to just quit now.”

The concert, which will have two performances at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, will take place in the campus’ Mabry Concert Hall, and in addition to his exhaustion, Steinquest seemed nervous about getting everyone on stage.

“It’s going to be huge,” he said. “We’re using the Governors’ Own Marching Band, and the choir and Chamber Singers. I don’t even know if they’re all going to fit.”

The marching band and choirs will join the University’s percussion ensemble to open the show with a performance of German composer Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” a work that Steinquest claims is “the most famous piece for voices and instruments ever written in the history of the universe.”

Following this big opening number, the concert will move through an eclectic mix of music, from the terrifying theme to John Carpenter’s 1978 horror film, “Halloween,” to the carnivalesque sounds of Czech composer Julius Fučík‘s “Thunder and Blazes.”

“That’s the quintessential circus music that everyone recognizes, and we’ve got so many things happening in different places that the concert feels like a three-ring circus,” Steinquest said.

The evening will also feature special guest performances by APSU music faculty members Jeffery Williams, Gail Robinson-Oturu, Spencer Prewitt and Robert Waugh, and as always, the performers will be dressed in costumes to commemorate the October holiday.

Admission to the Halloween concert is two cans of food, which will be donated to a local charity, or $5, but for the last few years, both shows have sold out of tickets several days in advance. Contact the music department office at 221-7818 for tickets or other information.