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Music and art to come together at Bovard Auditorium

Arthur Bartner directs the USC Trojan Marching Band in a painting by Robert Jensen.

For 43 years, music has been Arthur Bartner’s life. During this time, he has produced great tunes as director of the USC Trojan Marching Band and, in the spring, the USC Concert Band.

Many Trojan fans may not know, however, that Bartner is also a fine art aficionado who visits museums before football road games and gives art lectures on USC alumni trips. When he presents “Pictures at an Exhibition” on April 14, he can finally share his love of both.

“Music and the visual arts have been a lifelong passion of mine, but until now I’ve been unable to bring them together,” Bartner said. “Choosing to perform Mussorgsky’s majestic ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ served as the catalyst I needed to combine the two.”

Beginning at 3 p.m. at Bovard Auditorium, concert-goers will be treated to a visual and aural experience. Accompanying the music will be paintings projected above the USC Concert Band.

For “Scenes from the Louvre,” the audience will be given a tour of the world’s most famous museum. Illustrating the music of Les Misérables will be French masters from the 19th century, while abstract artists such as Picasso and Kandinsky will capture the groundbreaking jazz of Duke Ellington.

Providing original artwork for the afternoon will be Robert Jensen, the Trojan Marching Band’s official artist. Jensen has painted the band since the late 1980s; his impressionist works have been on display at the Bowers Museum, the Pacific Asia Museum, the Butler Institute of American Art and USC’s Helen Lindhurst Fine Art Gallery.

Jensen’s paintings and sketches of Luxembourg Gardens in Paris will accompany the concert’s namesake suite. For the climactic “The Great Gate at Kiev” movement, he created a new painting and documented each step of the progress so the audience will see the painting come to life before their eyes.

“It’s a wonderful idea to perform ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ using projections of actual paintings with the music, and I am honored that Dr. Bartner has selected my paintings for this performance,” Jensen said.

Tickets can be purchased online at uscband.com or by calling (213) 740-6317.

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