Mark Dupere likens the musical experience of Kaleidoscope to a tapas meal—small, savory samplings that combine for a full-on shared celebration.

Dupere, associate professor of music and director of orchestral studies in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, is coordinating efforts as Lawrence students and music faculty present the seventh edition of Kaleidoscope, set for 8 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in downtown Appleton. It is part of Lawrence’s 175th anniversary celebration and comes amid the university’s Blue & White Homecoming Weekend Celebration.

First introduced in 2006 and held five more times over the next 11 years, Kaleidoscope is an all-encompassing Conservatory performance, showcasing ensembles large and small. The nonstop, 50-minute format provides a rapid-fire musical spectrum showcasing the variety and mastery of students attending the Conservatory. It features an array of ensembles, from traditional orchestra and jazz groupings to less familiar horn octets and flute ensembles.

Nearly 400 students in 11 ensembles are taking part.

Mark Dupere leads the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra through a rehearsal in advance of Kaleidoscope.
Mark Dupere on the Kaleidoscope experience: "It’s like a taster, which is a fun element and is very different than a normal concert.” (Photo by Danny Damiani)

“You have ensembles in different places in the PAC,” said Mark Dupere, director of orchestral studies. “The large ensembles are on stage and there are groups down in the pit; then we have smaller ensembles in the balconies."

Each ensemble performance will be brief, the music eclectic and non-stop.

"It’s like a taster, which is a fun element and is very different than a normal concert,” Dupere said.

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Dupere will lead the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra. Other Conservatory faculty will lead the Wind Ensemble, the Viking Chorale, the Concert Choir, Cantala, among others. There will be an opera number, a horn octet, and more.

“The audience is seated per usual, but the performance aspect is going to be like a collage concert,” Dupere said. “It’s like tapas. They’re not full meals; they’re little tasters. You have a group here in this balcony, another in this balcony, someone on the stage. It’s a great effect.”

They will all come together for a grand finale.

The Kaleidoscope concert had been held every two or three years, giving each class a chance to participate. But the pandemic interrupted the schedule, making this the first Kaleidoscope since 2017.

Some students will be performing in multiple ensembles, adding complications to the coordination. Moving from an ensemble on the stage to one in the balcony will require some precision, and a bit of hustle.

“That’s the fun thing about this,” Dupere said. “The whole performance is showcasing the wide variety, the breadth of the Conservatory and what we have to offer here, and it shows how the students can really flourish performing in different ensembles.”

Tickets are $20 ($15 for seniors, $8 for students). LU discount tickets of $8 are available at the Lawrence University Box office with an LU ID. Tickets are available from the LU Box Office at 920-832-6749 (Box Office is open Monday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m., and is located inside the Music-Drama Center, 420 E. College Ave.) or from the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, 920-730-3760,