Sunday, May 19, 2024

Converging creatives’ eclipse euphony

In the evening of April 7 various bands, ensembles, choirs and independent musicians collected to perform in Convergence 2024: An Eclipse Performance.



By Cinara Marquis

As a way to celebrate the brilliance of nature and welcome the day of the eclipse the passionate performers, dedicated directors and organizers of “Convergence 2024: An Eclipse Performance” meticulously crafted a night to remember.

Featuring the SUNY Plattsburgh Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Gospel Choir, Concert Choir and independent pianists, the event was a beautiful collective of cosmic music.

Hundreds of people collected, in the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium in the evening of April 7, the day before the eclipse. Some were residents of Plattsburgh and some were students at SUNY Plattsburgh a notable number of people, however, were visitors from out-of-state.

The program included a variety of incredible music emceed by Tom McNichols, opera singer dubbed “oceanic bass” by the New York Times.

First was the Symphonic Band, a concert band that performs a wide variety of both classical sand modern music for wind and percussion instruments. Directed by Daniel Gordon the band played “Fanfare from Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30” by Richard Strauss and “Mars, the Bringer of War” by Gustav Holst.

Then chair of the music department Karen Becker played “Moonlight Sonata Op. 27 No. 1” by Ludwig van Beethoven on piano.

Next, the concert choir, a mixed choral ensemble performing a cappella directed by Timothy Morningstar sang “Moon River” by Henry Mancini and by Johnny Mercer and “Blue Moon” by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Louise Dionne on piano played a song she composed herself, “Total Solar Eclipse, Plattsburgh, NY April 8, 2024.”

Then the Jazz Ensemble, directed by Matt Pray, played “Fly Me To The Moon” by Bart Howard and “Moondance” by Van Morrison. The ensemble performs many different styles of jazz with a big band and is both student and community-based.

Becker then played again on piano “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy.

Next was the the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir, the group performs a full spectrum of gospel music primarily from Black tradition. Directed by Dexter Criss, the choir sang “Lord is My Light” by James Cleveland and “I Believe” by Tamyra Gray, Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello.

Both the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir and the Concert Choir collected to sing “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” arranged by Greg Gilpin together.

Audience members rose and clapped to the beat of the song. A sense of unity and joy filled the auditorium.

The convergence of musical talent from the SUNY Plattsburgh Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Gospel Choir, Concert Choir, and independent pianists was an extraordinary celebration of totality.


Visit SUNY Plattsburgh’s Music Department online event calendar for more information at

You can also subscribe to the department newsletter, “News & Notes,” for issues featuring SUNY Plattsburgh Music Department news, interviews and updates. Contact Dwayne Butchino, performing arts coordinator at for more information.


Cinara Marquis
Karen Becker plays “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy.
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