B-CU's Music and Performing Arts Programs Close Out the Year With Free Public Shows

Bethune-Cookman University students are showcasing their talents in the fine arts in a series of performances that are free and open to the public April 11-14.

Under the artistic direction of Professor Carla Lester, the university’s Orchesis Dance Ensemble will be presenting its Expression in Motion 2024 Spring Concert on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary McLeod Bethune Performing Arts Center. Originally reorganized in 1996 under the leadership of student Kaliah Henton and Professor Carla Lester, Orchesis has dedicated the past 28 years to nurturing students' artistic expression and dance abilities across various styles, including contemporary, jazz, ballet, African, and hip-hop. This year's concert showcases choreography by guest choreographers from the community, a student choreographer, and Professor Lester.

Students have worked diligently throughout the year to refine their artistic voices and technical dance skills, and though the group is small in size, it promises to be an enchanting evening of concert dance. Mainland High School Auxiliary, Campbell Middle School Spartan Dolls, Westside Elementary, Kinetic Expressions Dance Academy (KEDA), Savannah State University Dance, and Bethune-Cookman’s own 14K Dance Line have been invited to share the stage with Orchesis.

On Sunday, April 14, the B-CU concert chorale and symphonic band will present the 47th annual spring concert April 14 in the PAC. This year’s theme is "An Ode to Our Alumni.” The music department will be honoring all alumni, but especially those who were previous members of the band and chorus.  

From trailblazing entrepreneurs to influential leaders, the concert will honor the diverse and inspiring journeys of Bethune-Cookman University alums making a difference in the world. It serves as a powerful testament to the university's legacy of excellence and the transformative influence of its graduates.

“​​As a cultural and artistic endeavor, the joint concert enriches the local cultural landscape” not only on campus, but of the entire Daytona Beach community, Van Richards said. “This event highlights the university's positive contributions to the community and helps strengthen ties between the campus and the broader Daytona Beach area, promoting collaboration and mutual support. This Spring Concert serves as a unifying force, celebrating the past, present, and future of Bethune-Cookman University while fostering a sense of pride and belonging within the Daytona Beach community.”

Events such as these help foster “a culture of excellence, class and culture for the university and help establish the standard of achievement we expect from our students,” said Mr. Donovan Wells, B-CU’s director of bands. 

B-CU’s Music and Performing Arts programs play an integral role in advancing the university’s mission to become responsible, productive citizens and solution seekers through the promotion of faith, scholarship, creative endeavors, leadership and service. When these students graduate, they will be ready to perform – on the world’s stages and concert venues, in traditional and remote workplaces or in nonprofit organizations. Our institutional promise is to encourage students’ creativity, develop their research and critical thinking capabilities, refine their artistic appreciation, challenge their communication skills, and sharpen their moral compasses.