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Musical Arts honors alumni lost

The College of Musical Arts will hold a musical celebration honoring the accomplishments of two University graduates who each had a passion for music.

Chris Carducci and Robert Samels graduated from the University in 2002, and were killed in a plane crash in April.

A concert, which will feature vocal works that were performed by both, as well as many written by Samels, will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday in Kobacker Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center.

Tina Bunce, publicity manager for the College of Musical Arts, said the two graduates had promising careers in the near future.

“They had such a wealth to offer and to give,” she said. “These are musicians whose voices are lost.”

Carducci, who was from Monroe, Mich., was active in the opera program, appearing in numerous roles. He won the undergraduate division of the third annual Dr. Marjorie Conrad Peatee Art Song Competition, and was a member of the Collegiate Chorale and University Men’s Chorus.

He had worked with Toledo Opera as a resident artist, Carmel Bach Festival and Michigan Opera Works. Carducci was scheduled to be an apprentice with the Central City Opera this summer and perform the title role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at Indiana University this year.

Samels, a native of Medina, completed three degrees in two years, majoring in composition, music history and voice.

He appeared in many opera productions, performing as Falstaff in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” Don Alfonso in “Così fan tutte” and Judge Turpin in the BGSU theater production of “Sweeney Todd.”

He was also a member of the New Music Ensemble and the Collegiate Chorale.

As a composer, Samels wrote more than 35 works. As a conductor, he led instrumental and choral ensembles in a wide variety of repertoire, including many of his own compositions.

Samels would have performed three roles this summer at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, including Bartolo in “Le nozze di Figaro,” Friar Laurence in “Roméo et Juliette” and Pluto in Telemann’s “Orpheus.”

The concert is set to bring together friends, alumni, and students honoring the lives of these two phenomenal and influential musical talents.

Deborah Fleitz, director of public events for the College of Musical Arts, said they are expecting about 200 to 300 guests.

“We are here to celebrate the lives of two extremely talented and promising musicians,” she said.

The concert is designed to last about an hour incorporating musical pieces which reflect and were relevant to Carducci and Samels.

“Both of these musicians had so much life left to live, their lives were cut entirely too short,” Bunce said. ” We are putting on this concert to reflect upon their lives not upon sadness.”

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