Staff Picks Fall 2018

Staff Picks Fall 2018

The AU Music Library is home to a collection of over 10,000 CDs, with many different genres and eras of music to choose from. Throughout the semester, our staff has listened to and enjoyed a wide variety of these albums—here are some of our favorites!


Cameron Betchy

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

This is easily one of my favorite albums in the music library. Sufjan Stevens has created a delicate, sensitive, and emotionally moving piece of art. His use of instrumentation mixed with haunting lyrics gives this album both an eerie and timeless feeling. Written for his mother and stepfather, each song is heavy with reminiscence and emotion. My personal favorite track is “Fourth of July” which manages to bring me to tears every time I listen to it, even in very crowded places. It is rare for me to find music so impactful and that is why this is my choice. If you want a unique musical and personal experience, this album will be just the thing for you.


Camille Cote

The Last Five Years

Image result for the last five years original cast

The Last Five Years is quite simply my favorite musical. Truly it allows for a good cry but then the next song brings out a big laugh, and I guess I’m a fan of the true emotional rollercoaster it provides. I find Jason Robert Brown’s music to perfectly match the lyrics and provide insight into the character’s emotional turmoil at any given moment. Some personal favorites include “The Schmuel Song,” “I Can Do Better Than That,” and “A Summer in Ohio.” I’m also a huge fan of “See I’m Smiling” and attribute that song to part of why I’m a musical theatre major (It’s my favorite song I’ve ever performed). Basically, if you haven’t listened to this musical, LISTEN TO THIS MUSICAL. But, buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a pack of tissues first.


Matt Francisco

Bon Iver – 22, A Million

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Bon Iver is easily one of my favorite artists for the way he seamlessly meshes folk with electronically produced elements. I’m a huge fan of both electronic and lighter, acoustic music styles, so it’s very interesting to me when artists create a strong contrast between the two. This album specifically delves deeper into his electronic side, utilizing creative synthesis and vocoder effects to create compelling soundscapes. Additionally, his poetry and lyricism continue to get better and better with every new release. My favorite track from the album is 715 – CR∑∑KS, for its incredible lyrics and original songwriting.


Emily Langlois

Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color

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This album is a beautiful intersection of music and art. It features 8 compositions that were written as accompaniments to poems of different colors. Conducted by the legendary Frank Sinatra, the songs almost perfectly capture emotions that each of the colors emulates. Listening to the piece, reading the poems, and envisioning the colors provide a truly immersive listening experience. My personal favorites are “Yellow, The Laughter” and “Blue, The Dreamer”.


Dan McCahon

The Best of the Andrews Sisters

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The Andrew Sisters are a classic group! Their melodies are timeless and the vocal harmonies between the three sisters are unparalleled. The songs have a very wide appeal and have been featured on many different forms of media for years. This is a great album to listen to when you just want to just sit under an apple tree, or boogie-woogie around with the bugle boy of company b.


Elizabeth McCarren

Snarky Puppy – Family Dinner Volume One

Image result for snarky puppy family dinner volume 1

Snarky Puppy, one of my favorite bands, released this album in 2013, featuring star vocalists on each track.  These high-soaring vocals combined with the band’s jazz electronica vibe make for an incredible album.  The first track “Free Your Dreams” is my favorite and features Chantae Cann.  This song will have you hooked right away and has a smooth transition to the soulful and upbeat “Gone Under” featuring Shayna Steele.  The first time I listened to this album I couldn’t get it out of my head and it remains one of my favorites.
Amanda Steadman

ChicagoChicago Transit Authority

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Over the summer I have the opportunity to explore recordings we might not otherwise play in the Music Library; this past summer that included the Very Best of Chicago album (CD 2070). I do not recommend the Very Best of Chicago. The first 5-6 songs are great, and the rest is really awful 80s ballads. To my ears, Chicago is a band that started out amazing and went downhill sharply over the course of their career. Thus their debut album, self-titled under the band’s original moniker Chicago Transit Authority, is a clear favorite for me. Although there are a few extended solos I sometimes skip, most of this album is full of lush horn arrangements and classic songs. You can clearly hear the jazz influence in the structure of this classic rock. Standout tracks for me are “Does anybody really know what time it is?” and “Beginnings”.


All of these selections are available to check out at the Music Library and are currently featured on our display case! To browse the rest of our collection, check out our web and Pinterest pages.


November DPA Performances!

November is a month full of music and events in Katzen and Greenberg! Come out and support your friends or classmates in any of these student group performances happening in your backyard.


Chamber Singers Concert: Election Edition


November 5th at 8pm & November 6th at 3pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall

The AU Chamber Singers reflect on the meaning of peace and democracy by exploring the tradition of protest and political songs in the US dating from the American Revolutionary War to present day.
Settings of great words by Lincoln, Jefferson, Kofi Annan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Jan Amos Comenius, and the Bible among others. Choral music by Billings, Schütz, Thompson, Byrd, Bono, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Oscar Peterson, Jiøí Laburda, and others.
Tickets: $5 Students, seniors and AU Community, $10 others

Choreolab 2016: Creative Differences


November 9th at 8pm in the Greenberg Theatre

Erin Foreman-Murray, artistic director. AU student choreographers present an exciting evening of concert dance. You will see an array of works-in-progress by these emerging choreographers. Tickets: $5

JQA: A Theatrical Inquiry


November 10th, 11th at 8pm and November 12th at 2pm and 8pm in the Studio Theatre

By Aaron Posner and The JQA Team

Directed by Aaron Posner and Jenna Duncan
John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States and son of the second president, was the ultimate Washington insider. Part of a political dynasty, Adams was known for having contradictory views, some conservative and some liberal. Who exactly was this remarkable (or unremarkable) president? And what can we learn from him and his complex legacy?
Tickets: $10-15

Music of the Spheres


November 11th at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall

Ben Sonderman, director. Join the AU Symphonic Band for a celestial journey as they perform works inspired by the cosmos. Music influenced by science and science fiction will share the same stage. Tickets: $5 Students, seniors and AU Community, $10 others

Schubert, Sibelius, Bartok, Bizet, and Tcherepnin


November 12 at 8pm & November 13th at 3pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall

The American University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Matthew Brown, kicks off its season with a wide variety of great works. The program begins with the little-known but gorgeous piece La Princesse Lointaineby Nikolai Tcherepnin. Violist Christopher Hacnik, Class of 2018, one of the three winners of the 2016 American University Concerto and Aria Competition, performs the great Bartók Viola Concerto. Selections from Bizet’s Carmen Suites I and II are followed by Franz Schubert’s sublime Symphony no. 8 (Unfinished). The program concludes with the epic tone poem Finlandia by Sibelius.


The Music of Steve Reich


November 18th at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall


 Noah Getz, director. The AU Workshop explores the music of Steve Reich in celebration of his 80th birthday. Reich was one of the founders of minimalism and he remains one of its most creative and active proponents. Enjoy works by Reich and other minimalist composers that have been influenced by this renowned American composer.

Tickets: $5 Students, seniors and AU Community, $10 others

Fall for Jazz


December 2nd at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall

The AU Jazz Orchestra, directed by Joshua Bayer, and the Jazz Academy of Music, directed by Paul Carr, will perform a varied program of big band music including swing, bebop, and blues.Tickets: $5 Students, seniors and AU Community, $10 others


New Arrivals


Beyonce Lemonade CD 2756

Pride & Prejudice: music from the motion picture CD 2757

Bruce Springsteen Greetings from Asbury Park CD 2761

John Pizzarelli John Pizzarelli Salutes Johnny Mercer CD 2701

Magic to Do: a new musical from Stephen Schwartz CD 2745

West Side Story: the New Broadway Cast Recording CD 2760


Michael Becker Long Tone Duets for Trombone MT465 .B3 2015

Dimitri Kabalevsky Piano Concerto no 3 op.50 M1010 .K13 op.50 2015

Juliana Hodkinson Lightness for 3 Percussionists  M385.H63 L54 2015

Nils Rohwer Mimikry duet for two marimbas M298.R64 M5 2015


New Music!


Fats Domino All Time Greatest Hits CD 2714

John Cocuzzi Groove Merchant CD 2683

Encyclopedia of Boogie Woogie CD 2653


Florence Foster Jenkins: A World of Her Own ML DVD 250


Joan Tower White Water, String Quartet no.5 M452.T78 W55 2015

Anthony Iannaccone Aria Concertante no.1 for Cello and Piano M233.I23 A75 2016

Franz Schubert Sonata in A Minor “Arpeggione” for Cello and Piano M236.S375 D.821 1953

Elliott Carter Retracing V for Solo Trombone M92.C377 R38 2016

Elliott Carter Retracing IV for Solo Tuba M97.C37 R48 2016

Astor Pizzola Medi Tango for 4 Octave Marimba and Vibraphone M298.P53 M44 2004

Jan Freicher Flight: Three Solos for Vibraphone M175.X6 F744 2014

Alice Gomez Marimba Flamenca for Unaccompanied Marimba M175.X6 G64 2014

Eckhard Kopetzki Marimba Joy: 9 Marimba Solos for 4 Mallets M175.X6 K67 2011

Paul Smadback Rhythm Song for one or more marimbas M175.X6 S57 1991

Scott Joplin Ragtime Collection for Xylophone and Marimba M298.J67 R3 2014

Mitchell Peters Waves for Marimba M175.X6 P473 1975




American’s Department of Performing Arts has a variety of exciting shows coming up in October! The DPA’s student/staff performances are affordable, convenient (on campus) and high quality. Come support your fellow students, professors, or just to enjoy the show!

The DPA’s student/staff performances are affordable, convenient (on campus) and high quality. Come to support your fellow students, professors, or just to enjoy the show!

Bildergebnis für yulia gorenmanThe Gorenman Russian Piano Project

Yulia Gorenman plays Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Rimsky-Korsakov

Saturday, October 8, at 8pm in the Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center


AU’s internationally acclaimed applied piano professor Yulia Gorenman will be giving a solo concert featuring music by Russian composers! Her concerts are always full of passion, excitement, and musicality. Tickets for students are $10 with AUID.

Tickets here or at the door!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Bildergebnis für a funny thing happened on the way to the forumThe Musical Theater Program perform’s Sondheim’s classic for their fall musical

Thursday, October 20 at 8pm at Greenberg Theater
Friday, October 21 at 8pm
Saturday, October 22 at 2pm
Saturday, October 22 at 8pm
Friday, October 28 at 8pm
Saturday, October 29 at 2pm
Saturday, October 29 at 8pm

The musical theater productions are top notch quality at AU, and luckily they perform for two weekends so you have plenty of chances to see this show! Sondheim’s catchy tunes and hilarious lyrics bring this funny story from ancient Rome to life and are sure to have you laughing out loud.

Tickets here or at the door!


Willis Thomas, Raise Up

AU Museum at the Katzen

The museum has a variety of artist talks and discussions happening this October surrounding their current exhibition titled “It Takes a Nation: Art for Social Justice” with Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party, Africobra, and contemporary Washington artists.

Upcoming talks in Oct:

October 2, 11am-1pm Confession: An Art Activation with Sheldon Scott

October 8, 2-3:30 pm: Panel Discussion: The Creative Process of Bringing Truth to Power: The Art of the Black Panthers and AFRICOBRA. RSVP required.  

October 15, 2-3:30 pm: Panel Discussion: Riffing on the Legacy of the Black Arts Movement. RSVP required. 


Discounted and Free in D.C.


a performance of the Luce Local Artist Series


Hearing a Symphony Orchestra live or seeing a Shakespeare play in D.C. doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little advance planning, you can attend these free concerts or snag some cheap discount tickets.

Free Concert Series

National Gallery of Art

Every Sunday afternoon, usually around 2 or 3pm the National Gallery of Art hosts a free and open to the public concert. Seating is on a first come first serve basis and begins 30 minutes prior to the show. It’s best to get there early and have a look around the museum and cue up if you predict it will be a popular concert.

Highlights of the 2016-2017 Season include performances by Philip Glass, A Roomful of Teeth, A Far Cry, and Parker Quartet.

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Steinway Series

Every second Sunday of the month at 3pm, the Smithsonian offers a “Steinway Series” concert on their refurbished Steinway. Free tickets are available in the G Street lobby, half an hour prior to each performance.

Take 5!

Every Thursday the museum presents a free live jazz concert in the Kogod Courtyard. In addition to the music, you can also rent out a board game to play during the show!

21st Century Consort

The 21st Century Consort has been the resident contemporary music ensemble of the Smithsonian Institution since 1978 (Originally the 20th Century Consort). They present concerts that relate to the art currently being displayed, or to current events. They are hosting an “Election Special” at 5pm on October 22nd.

Luce Local Artist Series  

This concert series is truly unique. A local musician picks a work of art from the collection, at 5:30 a museum staff member gives a talk about the work. A concert by the musician usually follows at 6. You can also purchase snacks and beverages while the event takes place.

Find these and more concerts in Smithsonian galleries here (Filter down to Performances)

Library of Congress Concert Series

The LoC offers a variety of free concerts each week in the Thomas Jefferson Building. The only cache is that you  must reserve your seat for the upcoming concerts on Eventbrite.

Season highlights include Folklife Concerts, Jason Robert Brown, Pacifica Quartet, and Arditti Quartet. Tickets for 2016 have already gone live, but the spring concerts will be available on January 4th at 10am. Spots fill up quick, so be sure to reserve free tickets for the concerts you’re interested in!

Season here

Millenium Stage Concerts at the Kennedy Center

Every day of the year, usually at 6pm, Kennedy Center presents free concerts on their Millennium Stages. They present shows in a variety of genres, art forms, and ages of performers. Recently they have also started Live Streaming each Millennium Stage concert, so you can watch for free at the Kennedy Center or from the comfort of your home. These concerts include area music groups such as Howard Gospel Choir and GW’s Chamber Music Groups as well as Strathmore’s Artists in Residence, Comedy, and Improv troupes, and other well-known artists.

Check out the upcoming concerts here

Discount and Student Tickets

Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center’s MyTix program offers discounted tickets for anyone under 30 years old.It gives you access to $10 tickets for concerts, musicals, and opera, as well as discounts in the KC Gift Shop and restaurants/bars.It’s free to join and as easy as signing up for a KC account.

Sign up here

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

The BSO offers a program called “Student Select” in order to make attending concerts more affordable to students. For a one-time membership fee of $25, you can have access to an entire season of BSO concerts. The BSO, under the direction of Marin Alsop, is one of the nation’s leading orchestras and you can hear them right off of the red line, at the Music Center at Strathmore!

Upcoming BSO at Strathmore concerts include Carmina Burana, Shostakovich Symphony 10, Dvorak Symphony 8, Mahler Symphony 6 and Beethoven 9.

Sign up or learn more here

Washington Performing Arts

Washington Performing Arts offers great student discounts for most performances! You can reserve up to two tickets can be reserved for $10 each with your student ID. Email for more information on available offers. Visit the Washington Performing Arts website for a list of upcoming performances, including Hiliary Hahn, Bela Fleck, Joshua Bell, the Kronos Quartet, Anoushka Shankar,

Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection, a modern and contemporary art gallery in Dupont, has been offering Sunday music concerts for 76 years now. Phillips is dedicated to contemporary art and music, and their concerts are held in their beautiful space. Student tickets are available for every Sunday concert for $20, this also includes entrance into the museum. Season highlights include Rahim AlHaj, Nadia Sirota, the Trilogy violin trio, and the Heath Quartet.

Check out the rest of the season here


Round House Theater

RHT offers two “Pay What You Can” nights during the first week of every production.They also offer $10 tickets every Tuesday, in the side sections of the theater.

Find the schedule here

Folger Shakespeare Theater

Folger has half-priced student tickets which are available during preview performances of Folger Theatre productions. All other theater performances have a $10 discount for students. Additionally, college students can purchase $15 tickets to each of the “College Night” performances.

Folger Consort also offers $5 off for students in advance, and half-price student rush tickets are available one hour prior to concerts at the door.

Upcoming productions include Will & Jane and Sense & Sensibility

Learn more here

Shakespeare Theater Company

STC reserves a fixed number of tickets for every mainstage theater production and gives them away for free! They are called “Free Will Tickets.” Tickets are distributed on a first come, first serve basis completely free of charge until they run out.

They also offer $25 tickets to almost any STC mainstage performance for patrons under the age of 35, using promo code 17UNDER35 at the checkout.

Another great promotion that STC does is their “Young Prose Nights.” When you purchase a ticket to Young Prose Night (YPN), your $25 gets you a live performance, a complimentary drink, and admission to the post-performance Party. 

Upcoming productions include Romeo and Juliet, and the Secret Garden.

Learn more here

Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

For the first two nights of their productions, Woolly Mammoth offers “Pay What You Can” performances. It’s simple, you show up on the day of the show, let them know how much you want to pay for the show, and then enjoy the performance! Upcoming shows include the Trump Card, Kiss and Black Side of the Moon. 

More details here

Arena Stage

There are three ways to get discount tickets at Arena Stage! A few exciting world premieres are happening in their upcoming season, as well as other shows like Roger and Hammerstein’s Carousel, A Raisin in the Sun, and Moby Dick. Full time students receive 35% off their ticket price at Arena Stage, and half-price tickets are sold 30 minutes prior to a performance, called HOTTIX

They also have “Pay Your Age” tickets for theater-goers under 30, and are available up to 2 months before the performance.

More info here

Studio Theatre

See a play in Washington’s best premier venue for contemporary theater, with student tickets for $20. Plays happening this year include Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9, Chekhov’s Three Sisters, and Young Jean Lee’s Straight White Men.

More info here


New Arrivals!

Swing by your favorite music library and check out our awesome new scores and CDs!

P.S. Don’t forget we’re also open every Saturday from 11-4 if you need a place to finish homework, print, or listen to music!

New Scores




  • Alexander Scriabin – Symphony no. 4 Le Poème De L’extase (full score) – M1002.S39 P63 1900z

New CDs