2022’s Smith Center Performance by the Music Department


Chalice Lundquist

Symphonic Choir (Academy Singers and Konzert Chorale) rehearses at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, on Wednesday, Oct. 12 before their performance at 7 PM.

The annual Smith Center performance is one of the biggest performances of each year at Las Vegas Academy. Performed by LVA’s Symphonic Choir, Philharmonic (Band), and Symphony Strings, before the open public. The performance is one of the biggest venues provided to the musicians at LVA. Students also have the special opportunity to perform with guest artists, Clint Holmes, Gary Fowler, and Tim McAllister at this all-day event.

Held on Oct. 12, the Smith Center performance was one of the most anticipated for the first semester, with the performing students allowed to rehearse and prepare before their start at 7 PM. The selection of performed songs includes Tales of Old & New, The Awakening, Baba Yetu, Something’s Coming, Abraham, Martin, John, and Somewhere, among more. All students involved are required to sell $60 worth of tickets to the performance. With around 2,050 seats and $30~ per ticket depending on the seats, the performance at the Smith Center stands as one of the Music Conservatory’s biggest fundraisers annually. This year, approximately 1,100 were filled and all of the profits generated by ticket sales go back toward the students.

John Seaton (LVA Band Director), Tim McAllister (Guest Artist), David Maccabe (LVA Band Director), Gary Fowler (Guest Artist), Clint Holmes (Guest Artist), Matthew Ostlie (LVA Vocal Director), Megan Franke (Vocal Director) walk across the front of the stage of the ready-to-perform Orchestra, Philharmonic, and Symphonic Choir (not pictured) students to receive their applause with their respective departments and/or special appearance. (Robert White)

Instructors for the performance prepared and worked with their students for quite some time. According to junior vocal major Elena Murrieta, rehearsals and preparations started in the first week of school.

“I think it’s the most marvelous thing that our students get to participate in. Just being in the space alone is stunning to me every time I’m in there…you have the opportunity to stand on the stage and look out at that massive audience from such a spectacular stage. It’s just absolutely beautiful, and then the sound is unmatched,” says Chalice Lundquist, vocal department assistant.

Konzert Choral & Academy Singers lineup backstage before their entrance onto the performing venue. (Chalice Lundquist)

Behind the performance, preparations were still meticulously planned and in progress. Performers were lined up backstage based on height, and parts in a song, grouped with their shared instruments, and practicing their entrances. 

“It was very intimidating because so many performers were there before you. So you’re just in awe that you’re on the Smith Center stage. It was cold backstage because of the light on our uniforms, but it was hot in the underground dressing rooms,” says Murrieta

“It’s such a great feeling to be able to like perform on a stage where very important people performed and just you know, did what they love doing… I’ve performed there once for like a little outside-of-school scene group thing and wasn’t nothing big. It was like little miniature performances. It was kind of fun. But yeah, being on stage was different from the first time I did it, because jeez, it sounded great. I loved it so much”, says orchestra major, JJ Cox.

For many students, the experience was surreal. Behind the stage, performers had the opportunity to see signed Broadway posters, lounge and interact with each other in the underground dressing rooms, and once again, see the glorious stage on which they get to play. The experience to perform on such a grand stage is unique to LVA, as very rarely do student bodies have the opportunity to prepare such big performances annually. Each year, we can expect the Smith Center Performance to be the talk of Music amongst the Music Conservatory.