Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble to Perform Works of Love Feb. 23

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble’s Winter Concert will feature the theme of love at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, in Harold J. Miossi Hall in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.

“The deep, passionate love of the works in the concert will be presented in a ‘wasla’ or suite of ‘muwashahat,’ one of the longest continuously performed genres of high art music in the world,” said Samuel Shalhoub, acting director of the ensemble. “The concert will be a celebration of the power of love through music and dance.”

A special feature of the concert will be the suite titled “Alf Layla Wa Layla” or “A Thousand and One Nights,” a four-movement composition based on Persian, Arabic and Indian stories. These stories have been told for centuries and have influenced other great literature in turn, as in the case of the art songs of the famous Lebanese Rahbani Brothers and musical icon Fairuz. These songs form a suite in the “muwashshah” genre, which dates to the Middle Ages. 

The Arab Music Ensemble is a multi-instrumental orchestra and choir with vocal and instrumental soloists. Its membership represents a wide range of majors on campus and professions off campus. The ensemble will be joined on stage by critically acclaimed guest artists: Faisal Zedan, percussion; Fathi al-Jarrah, violin; and Elias Lammam, accordion.

San Luis Obispo dance director Jenna Mitchell will lead her dance troupe in original choreography that dialogues with the music. Shalhoub, a composer, performer, lecturer in the Liberal Studies Department and president of the Coast Unified School District board of trustees in Cambria, is directing the Arab Music Ensemble in its second concert of the 2018-19 season.

Tickets are $12 and $14 for the public, and $9 and $12 for students. Event parking is sponsored by the PAC. Tickets are available at the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call SLO-4TIX (756-4849).

The Music Department offers a 10 percent discount to patrons who buy season tickets to four of its events through the Cal Poly Ticket Office; a 15 percent discount is given on tickets to five or more events.

The concert is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit its calendar website.

— Cal Poly Ticket Office:
— Cal Poly Music Department Calendar:
— Performing Arts Center's Christopher Cohan Center:

Contact: Michele Abba

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