No more hard hat concerts, sneak previews, or fine-tuning. The Studzinski Recital Hall and Kanbar Auditorium will finally see real action this weekend with a series of inaugural concerts.

The concerts will include performances by the College's chamber choir, concert band, and orchestra, and the chorus will present a new arrangement of Igor Stravinksy's "Les Noces" by Chorus Director Anthony Antolini '63. These classical performances will take place on May 4, 5, and 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Antolini, who developed this particular arrangement of Stravinksy's piece, called it "a high wire act. It's the hardest thing we've ever done."

"It's not an easy listening piece," Antolini said. "People expect something about a wedding to be romantic or warm and fuzzy. There's nothing romantic about it. It's about people's emotions and the bittersweet aspect of it."

"In 19th-century Russia, marriage was a huge upheaval in life," he added.

Since Stravinsky intended for "Les Noces" to be a theater piece, members of the Portland Ballet will dance while the orchestra and chorus perform. There are four different "scenes" within the piece: the bride's preparation, the groom's preparation, the bride's arrival at the wedding, and the reception.

"It gets very wild," Antolini said. "The rhythms become complicated, people interrupt each other, it gets a bit off-color. It's classical music but sounds more like rock and roll."

Because of the rash of concerts this weekend, all the groups involved have had to share rehearsal time and space.

"Our first rehearsal was last Sunday and we haven't been there since," Antolini said. "We're very anxious about how it will turn out. There's a joke going around that if you want to hear our best efforts, come Sunday."

Soloists from St. Petersburg's Nevsky Vocal Ensemble add to the epic scope of this concert.

"When you do something that involves so many people, you couldn't do anything to the last minute and it adds to the high wire act," Antolini said.

The Polar Jazz Big Band, various jazz ensembles, the Middle Eastern Ensemble, and the World Music Ensemble will join the festivities on May 5 and 6 at 4 p.m.

"We're pretty excited," Professor of Music Mary Hunter said. "The acoustics are great, and the audience is in a nice intimate relation to the stage?we haven't had both of those elements together before."

Hunter, who directs the Middle Eastern Ensemble, said that the group will perform four different songs, three of which were composed by former director Al Gardner, who died last October. The instruments in the ensemble are three violins, an oud (a Middle Eastern version of the lute), a qanun (a type of harp), a clarinet, and Middle Eastern percussion.

With regard to what audiences can expect from these concerts, Hunter said that there will be "an amazing variety of music, from the Renaissance to the 20th century, and from Brazil to the Middle East to Europe and North America. A lot of very enthusiastic and talented performers, and a distinctly celebratory mood."