Music a la Carte is a free weekly concert series that has been going on at OSU since 1969. It is held in the Memorial Union every Friday at noon.
It was started by violin and viola player Marlan Carlson and his wife Angela Carlson, who plays the piano and flute.
Angela stated that Marlan came up with the idea to do the concert series back in 1969 here at OSU after being inspired by his former university’s “brown bag” chamber music concerts.
“Going to classical concerts can be intimidating. You may feel like you have to dress up or be proper. We wanted to be a more casual concert for people to wander in at anytime.”
After pitching the idea, the couple got the OK from the Memorial Union to try it out for a while, and it definitely stuck since the series has continued from then on.
Marlan and Angela started out as the only performers for the concerts, sometimes partnering with other musical couples they knew, until the reputation brought in other performers.
“We played and talked for the first several concerts before the idea really caught on. Now it has grown much bigger and has branched out to other genres than just classical,” Angela Carlson said.
As it grew, Marlan and Angela ran the series for years until they handed the torch to other faculty and are now music teachers here at OSU.
Zachary Person is the current music marketing & events coordinator here at OSU and schedules and books the concerts for Music a la Carte.
“Jazz, world music, hall music. Anything really,’ Person said. “They are for everybody, anybody, or nobody.”
Person is enthusiastic about the great mix of performances and genres Music a la Carte has to offer.
“We have performers come from all over the world, all presenting a little bit of music to enrich the life on campus.” Person said their performers range from student, to local up-and-coming musicians, to world-renowned performers.
Person also talked about how the series has grown over the years and said that “It’s taken on a life of its own,” Person also talked about how the series has grown over the years and said that “We are up to about 200 people watching a week.”
Concerts are every Friday in the main lounge and are not only relaxing and enriching but also what Persons calls, “A chance to come see something completely different that is completely informal and accessible.”