"Beautiful era" represented in Fall Arts Celebration
Grand Valley State University Music Department faculty and guest artists will perform music from La
Belle Époque as part of the Fall Arts Celebration conducted by Dr. Lowell Graham, retired U.S. Air Force
Referring to the “beautiful era” period in Paris starting in 1871, La Belle Époque celebrates the French
language and ideals of classicism. The “beautiful era” was a time of peace and wealth with an
emphasis on great opulence, allowing the arts to flourish.
Dr. Danny Phipps, Music and Dance Department chair, said the Fall Arts Concert is an opportunity to
expose one’s self to an orchestra, more specifically, chamber music—a genre known for its one
instrument to part make-up. Strange enough, chamber music evolved from the French Chanson, a
choral group composed of four voices.
“Musically, the Belle Époque was also a time where chamber music flourished,” Phipps said. “Salon
music for piano or vocal soloists was widely performed alongside of resurgence in the writing of
woodwind chamber works. The music selected for this event celebrates the very best and most loved
of these unique chamber music works.”
It is not every day a free concert as well-rounded as this one is right outside of students, faculty and
the community’s door. This concert is a unique chance to take a step back in time and experience the
art and culture of a long gone era.
“Many of these works have fallen into obscurity as time has passed and new and more avant-garde
ideas have been explored in music,” Phipps said.
The concert will take place on Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. in the Louis Armstrong Theatre in the Performing
Arts Center. For more information, visit www.gvsu.edu/fallarts.