Law student orchestrates soothing musical treat to help calm ‘pre-finals’ stress
For most law students, this time of the academic year means reading, group studying and preparing for finals. For University of St. Thomas School of Law student Erik Honkanen, that list also includes the soothing sounds of music.
Honkanen, a third-year student, will bring together a small orchestra to perform from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, in the School of Law's Schulze Grand Atrium on the university’s downtown Minneapolis campus.
The group of 18 instrumentalists, including violist Honkanen, will be joined by four soloists and the St. Thomas School of Law Choir in a performance of Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” a tour through hell, purgatory and paradise.
This will be the third year that Honkanen has organized the performance. As he has each of the past two years, he personally commissioned the work. “Divine Comedy” was composed by Brad Bombardier.
Honkanen says he does it to bring a bit of calm before the storm of finals.
“I like to schedule it right before finals, before things get too crazy for everybody,” he said. “We’re not a student organization or an official law school event; it’s just something that I and the rest of the musicians like to give to the students.”
Seven of the 18 instrumentalists and three of the four soloists are law students. Honkanen hires professional musicians to fill in the rest of the parts. The University of St. Thomas School of Law Choir is made up of students, faculty, staff and friends of the School of Law community.
The performance is free and open to the public.