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Swamp Symphony to debut

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Posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 1:10 am

Swamp Symphony, an outdoor orchestra concert, has been added to the lineup of Homecoming activities this year.

Sponsored by the College of Fine Arts and UF Homecoming, the concert will take place Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. on Flavet Field.

About 150 performers are scheduled for the event, including the Mens Glee Club, Pazeni Sauti Africa Choir, Opera Theater, Gator Jazz Band, UF School of Theatre and Dance and Sunshine Steelers steel-drum ensemble.

Students from Sidney Lanier School, for Gainesville students with intellectual disabilities, will also perform, led by UF alumnus Don DeVito.

The UF symphony orchestra, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, will headline the event and remain on-stage in between other performances, said Lauren Kingry, 23, associate conductor for the symphony orchestra.

"We don't normally do events like this," Kingry said. "We're normally segregated in our discipline."

"We Are The Boys From Old Florida," "Orange and Blue" and the Alma Mater have been reorchestrated for the concert.

The symphony orchestra will perform original compositions by 23-year-old UF senior Evan Kassof, UF alumna Stella Sung and music professor Paul Basler.

"We're really excited to be involved," said Kingry, also a second-year graduate student in ochestral conducting. "We don't normally do Gator tunes."

Andy Howard, the marketing director for the College of Fine Arts, came up with the idea for the concert.

He decided the concert could be a way to involve the CFA with Homecoming activities.

"A lot of students are exposed to the various student-run organizations but have never been to any concerts unless required by a class," Howard said.

The point of Homecoming is to tie the UF community together, said Garrick Harding, 21, Homecoming general chairman and political science senior.

The concert will showcase the CFA during Homecoming in a way that hasn't been possible before, he said.

The concert is free and open to the public. People should bring chairs, blankets and picnic baskets.

There will not be many chairs set up, Harding said.

Harding and Howard hope to make the concert a yearly event.

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