Salukis harmonize for Halloween (Audio slideshow)

By Gus Bode

Nate Kingery was disappointed about playing in the Halloween Pops concert Wednesday night – he wished he could have been in the audience.

The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Studio Jazz Orchestra and Marjorie Lawrence Opera Theater performed at the concert, which raised money for scholarships for music students, said Edward Benyas, professor of music and conductor of the symphony. About 800 people attended the concert.

Kingery, a junior from Ramsey studying music education, wore a “Mr. Roboto” costume and played in the percussion section of the wind ensemble.


“It’s nice not having to worry about dressing up in fancy outfits,” said Kingery, whose performances typically require him to wear a tuxedo.

Musicians wore costumes at the event, which featured a costume contest, Halloween carols sing-along and a performance of “Peter and the Wolf.”

During the symphony’s rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, Benyas and Saluki Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Reis sat in the organ box and commented on the performance as if it was a baseball game between the assistant conductor, Yehun Kim, and the symphony.

Benyas said this was the third annual Halloween Pops concert but the first time a larger part of the School of Music was involved.

Ben Henning said his favorite part of the concert happened during the wind ensemble’s performance.

Members of the trumpet section performed an interpretive ballet-style dance, which Henning said they carefully choreographed.

Henning, a sophomore from Antioch studying saxophone performance, said he was excited about participating in the Halloween concert for the first time.


“It’s a good experience. It’s a lot more casual concert than any of the others,” Henning said. “We get to do a lot more crowd interaction.”

Some young members of the crowd particularly appreciated the interaction.

Sara Palmer, of Herrin, had just finished trick-or-treating with her children Becca, 13, Zach, 12 and Brennan, 9.

She said Becca plays the flute and Zach plays trombone, so they were excited to watch more advanced musicians perform.

Andrew Shafer, a 12-year-old from Marion, said he attended the concert at the encouragement of his trumpet teacher, Jered Montgomery, who is a senior from Mulkeytown studying trumpet performance.

“He said it was going to be really funny,” Shafer said.

Shafer added he probably does not want to study music performance like his teacher, but planned to continue practicing trumpet and play in concerts like the Halloween Pops someday.

Daily Egyptian reporter Allison Petty can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 259 or [email protected].