Art Experiences

A Little Lunch Music 9/21/2017: Auburn Native Returns to Sing Art Song, Opera, and More

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On Thursday, September 21 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert by soprano Kathleen Buccleugh with pianist Laurie Middaugh. The program will feature music by Joaquín Rodrigo, Gabriel Fauré, Richard Strauss, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leonard Bernstein, and selections from musical theater and popular music. Thanks to gifts from anonymous friends of the series for helping to make this performance possible.

Click here for our calendar event page with more information about the artists.

Buccleugh (pronounced like Buckley) said a recent search into her music collection resulted in a program covering a wide range of styles. Thursday’s music will feature art songs by Gabriel Fauré, Joaquín Rodrigo, and Richard Strauss. She will sing a Mozart aria, selections from music theater, and a song by Joni Mitchell. “I wanted to show as much diversity of repertoire that I could,” she said.

French composer Gabriel Fauré’s song cycle 5 Mélodies is nicknamed “de Venise,” because his ideas for the songs were developed during a vacation to Venice. Buccleugh said the music is full of lush harmonies, and the melodies are about as romantic as you can get. “It’s just pouring romance musically and with the words.” she said.

The duo will present Cuatro madrigales amatorios by Joaquín Rodrigo, four songs that set a darker mood. Written in 1947, the composer used sixteenth-century poems. The songs highlight an intense and sometimes painful side of love.

Buccleugh will sing three Richard Strauss songs including “Morgen!” translated “Morning!” a song she said she has wanted to do since she was a student at Auburn High.

The aria “In uomini, in soldati” is sung by the character Despina in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera Così fan tutte. It is a role Buccleugh has played before and will revisit next month in her debut with the Mobile Opera. She has also sung roles with Utah Festival Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Birmingham, New Rochelle Opera and others.

Buccleugh said singing Mozart is a privilege because his melodies are so beautiful. She said while his musical phrases are exquisite and speak for themselves, that doesn’t mean the text should suffer. “That’s my job as an opera singer, to balance telling the story with serving the music,” she said.

Buccleugh said working in a recital format like this allows her to have fun switching between different styles. She will sing “Will He Like Me?” by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick from the musical, She Loves Me. She said the style allows her some looseness when she interprets the music, even with the option of sometimes speaking rather than singing lyrics. “You can’t sing it like Mozart opera,” she said.

Though Buccleugh said she didn’t have in mind a particular theme for Thursday’s recital, she said love is the theme. But she added that love, in some form or other, is almost always the theme, when it comes to a concert of songs.

These selections show many kinds of love, said Buccleugh. Fauré and Rodrigo’s songs present romantic love in its happy, painful, and sexual expressions. She said Mozart’s Despina sings of a kind of disposable love, fickle and playful.

A song by Leonard Bernstein, “Glitter and Be Gay,” from his operetta Candide, sings of a love of possessions. Buccleugh paraphrased the song, “Times are hard, but I’m being covered in jewels and lavish clothing, so things could be worse.”

soprano Kathleen Buccleugh

soprano Kathleen Farrar Buccleugh

baritone Matthew Hoch

A Little Lunch Music 9/14: AU Faculty Will Tackle Schubert’s Final Song Cycle

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On Thursday from noon to 1 p.m., the series will present a free concert featuring baritone singer Matthew Hoch with pianist Jeremy Samolesky in the Grand Gallery. The duo will perform music by Franz Schubert. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series are helping to make this performance possible.

Click here for the full schedule for A Little Lunch Music and more about the performers.

In addition to a solo piano piece by Schubert, the duo will perform the composer’s final song cycle. Titled “Shwanengesang” and translated “Swan Song,” the publisher released it a few months after Schubert’s death in 1828.

In 2016, Hoch and Samolesky performed Schubert’s first song cycle “Die schöne Müllerin.” Next year, Hoch said they will learn the composer’s second, “Winterreise,” finishing out the composer’s canon of song cycles. “Jeremy and I view this as a rite of passage,” said Hoch.

Hoch said that Samolesky is a fantastic performer of Romantic music, which he added can be difficult to interpret. He said it has an expressive quality that requires a certain looseness that Samolesky can really pull off. “He just has a great way of communicating a piece to an audience so that it makes sense,” said Hoch.

Hoch said he entered music school in college as a saxophonist, but soon became jealous of the singers’ repertoire. He said as a freshman, he heard a concert by famous Dutch soprano Elly Ameling during her farewell tour. “She sang an all-Schubert recital and I was hooked,” he said. Soon after, he switched to study vocal performance.

“Schubert for me is kind of like Shakespeare might be for the English teacher,” said Hoch. “I just find a richness there that I’m never going to get to the bottom of,” he added.

“Schwanengesang” is a collection of fourteen songs that were unpublished when Schubert died at age 31. Hoch said this has caused some debate on the subject of whether it can, in fact, be called a song cycle. Often, a song cycle is a composer’s musical setting of a collection of the work of one poet. This is true of Schubert’s other two cycles, but “Schwanengesang” includes the poems of three poets.

The song cycle’s poets are Ludwig Rellstab, Heinrich Heine, and Johann Gabriel Seidl. Hoch said though there are different poets, the songs are connected by thematic material. He said many of them are in the voice of a man separated from his beloved. Secondly, the idea of a type of character Hoch calls “the wanderer,” common in Romantic German poetry, appears frequently. He also noted the recurrence of melodic ideas.

Rellstab’s work makes up the first seven songs. This group includes the song titled “Ständchen,” translated “Serenade,” which Hoch said is one of Schubert’s most famous melodies. After Rellstab’s poems, Heine’s work makes up the next six songs. Then the final song is the only setting of Seidl’s poetry. “It’s kind of obvious that the publisher put that in to give it some cyclical unity,” Hoch said.

Hoch defends the publisher’s decision to add the third poet. In his program notes, Hoch uses “sinister” to describe the cycle’s second-to-last song, “Der Doppëlganger,” translated “The Wraith.” He described this setting of Heine’s poetry as delivering “a recitative of thrilling terror.”

In contrast, Hoch wrote that the final song with Seidl’s poem “elegantly reflects a more joyful side of the composer’s spirit.” Hoch said it gives listeners a reprieve from the adventurous harmonic language and dark imagery of “Der Doppëlganger.” He said it nicely ties together the full song cycle, even bringing back thematic ideas from the Rellstab poems.

baritone Matthew Hoch

photo credit: Lesley Foote

pianist Mary Slaton

A Little Lunch Music 9/7/2017: Mary Slaton Will Open Fall Season

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On Thursday, September 7, from noon to 1 p.m., we will present a free concert as part of our weekly A Little Lunch Music series. The event will feature pianist Mary Slaton in the Grand Gallery, performing her arrangements of popular music going back as far as the 1940s.

Gifts from anonymous friends of the series are helping to make this performance possible.

Click here for the event page with more about the performers and the series’s full schedule.

As the museum reopens after renovations, Slaton will kick off the series’ fall schedule. The pianist has had her own re-construction over the summer, having endured a serious injury last March. She said she broke both bones in her forearm and damaged her wrist. For ten weeks, her hand was immobile.

For decades, Slaton has performed and taught piano. She said she specializes in popular music from the 1940s to the 1970s, but her repertoire includes music from the 1930s to present day.

Musician Patrick McCurry coordinates the weekly series. “I was worried when she said she got hurt,” he said. He has heard Slaton many times, sometimes playing saxophone in her trio. He said when he called to book her for the date, she was still unable to play.

But McCurry said Slaton agreed to perform, saying she would use it as a recovery goal. “She plays these rich, lush chords in her arrangements,” said McCurry, adding that piano music like that requires nimble fingers and hands that can stretch far.

But Slaton said practicing turned out to be a good companion to physical therapy. She said the stretching and exercise it requires helped a lot, and she is now able to perform again. “There are certain chords that I still can’t play,” said Slaton. But she added that she is close to a full recovery, and is ready to play Thursday.

Slaton said she built her arsenal of songs from the gigs she played. “When I started playing, a lot of it happened because people would request songs,” she said. If she didn’t know the song, she would say, “Hum a few bars,” and fake it. Then later she would find the music or the recording and learn the tune.

Slaton said when she was playing the most, in the 1970s and 80s in Memphis and then Atlanta, she would try to keep up with the music that was playing on the radio. After that, the requests at her gigs were mostly from those earlier decades.

“I like the oldies,” she said, adding that she is still learning new songs people want to hear.

Slaton worked briefly for a pest control company in Atlanta and for the IRS in Memphis, the worst job she said has ever had. But her lifetime career has been music. After graduating from the University of Montevallo, she taught piano, chorus, and band at Beauregard School and in Tuskegee before moving to Memphis.

As a single mom with a young son, Slaton was earning her Master’s degree at Memphis State University and playing at the Hilton and Hyatt hotels. She would need babysitters when she played at night, and said she once hired Kerrie McCarver, who would become Jerry Lee Lewis’s sixth wife.

Slaton moved to Atlanta to be closer to family, and played for years there at venues like the Omni Hotel, the Hilton, the Atlanta Country Club, and others.

Now living in Opelika since 1995, she is near the Lazenby family farm where she grew up in Beauregard. She has appeared at venues like the now-closed Terra Cotta, the Saugahatchee Country Club, and the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center at Grand National among others. She teaches a private studio and plays at churches and events when called on.

Slaton said being in the music business for so long, she has met a lot of famous and colorful characters. She said people ask her, “Why don’t you write a book,” and she answers, “I’m afraid my son would read it.”

pianist Mary Slaton

On September 7, pianist Mary Slaton will return to present classic songs from 1940s and later.

JCSM Presents a Live Tango with the Auburn Argentinian Tango Group

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As a part of the museum’s regular summer music series, “After Hours,” JCSM is proud to present a LIVE TANGO with the Auburn Argentinian Tango Group. New to the dance? Join us for instruction from 5 to 6 p.m. From 6 to 8 p.m., we tango! This program features the Tango Orchestra Club of Atlanta with Dr. Howard Goldstein and the Auburn Argentinian Tango Group.

Space is limited, and pre-registration is SOLD OUT. After 4:30 p.m. check-in, stand-by participants may be accommodated at 6:15 p.m. as space and time allows. Early-bird registration for future events like this one is available through museum membership.  The museum galleries, café and shop are open to the public during this event.    

JCSM and the Auburn Argentinian Tango Group thank Dr. John Stewart for helping to make this program possible. Museum admission is free. A five-dollar donation at the door is appreciated.

Members of the Tango Orchestra Club Atlanta pose for a group photograph.

Tango Orchestra Club Atlanta (TOCA) is an Atlanta-based community orchestra of professional and trained musicians who love tango. We perform authentic Argentine tango arrangements both para escuchar (concert tangos for listening) and para bailar (tango for dancing at a milonga). Our repertory includes classic tango, tango nuevo, and contemporary tango. Our Atlanta performances have included concerts at Emory University and the Latin-American Center as well as at numerous milongas. We have also performed at Auburn University, the University of Miami, and the University of California, Riverside. Our name pays tribute not only to the city of Atlanta, but also to a famous Buenos Aires football club as well as one of the first labels to record tangos. Our acronym, however, reflects what we like to do best, namely, PLAY!

Musician Bios

Music Director/Pianist Kristin Wendland (PhD, CUNY) is a senior lecturer in Music at Emory University in Atlanta where she teaches music theory classes; history and culture classes; Argentine tango courses; and arranges for, coaches, and mentors the students of the Emory Tango Ensemble. Her book “Tracing Tangueros: Argentine Tango Instrumental Music” (Oxford University Press) with coauthor Kacey Link appeared in March, 2016.

Violinist Howard Goldstein (DMA, Peabody) is a professor of music at Auburn University where he conducts the orchestra and teaches music history. He has been a member of the Columbus Symphony for over 20 years. He nurtured his love for tango by attending two College Music Society workshops in Buenos Aires organized by Dr. Wendland.

Mary McCoy (violin/viola) is a nationally board-certified orchestra director, specializing in elementary-level instruction, with a degree in Music Education from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in Buenos Aires, she was officially introduced to tango as music, dance and lifestyle in Atlanta in 2007.

Todd Markey (bass) has a wide range of musical skills, including performance in classical, jazz, and rock styles, as well as composition and music theory. He received a Masters degree in Music Performance in double bass from the University of North Texas in 1997 and taught at Valdosta State University from 2000 to 2004. He is the creator of the popular string education website, 

Vincent Aleandri (accordion) has been a professional accordionist since 1959, when he joined the Tamburitzans while attending Duquesne University. He served as musical director for the Pittsburgh Folk Festival from 1970 to 1982, and was a solo and featured musician at Walt Disney World from 1982 to 2006. He currently performs at numerous venues in the Atlanta area.

Cèsar Augusto (tenor) developed a passion for tango as a youth in Colombia. He studied voice at Truett McConnell College in Georgia and with Elizabeth Nohe Colson in Atlanta. After appearing in several opera workshops and master classes, he portrayed Juan Peron in the 2015 Serenbe Playhouse production of Evita.

12-hour “Takeover” in less than a minute

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On Monday, May 23, 2016 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., 18 students in grades eight through 12 produced artwork for “Teen Takeover.” Watch 12 hours of work edited down to less than a minute, and experience the exhibition May 26 through May 27 and May 31 through June 5.

The “Teen Takeover” program and exhibition is supported in part by a charitable gift from J&M Bookstore, Inc.

A Little Lunch Music 5/19: Cellist Laura Usiskin Returns to Museum Series

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On May 19 from noon to 1:00 pm, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University will present “A Little Lunch Music”in the Grand Gallery by cellist Laura Usiskin with pianist Ting Li. Featured on the program will be music by Ludwig van Beethoven, William Price, and Astor Piazolla. The concert is being supported by Stephen and Leslie Swartz. The café menu is available online.

Usiskin lives, teaches and performs chamber music in Birmingham, and often travels to make music. She holds the principle cello position in Orchestra Iowa, and performs with Trio Arté based in New York. Until 2013, she led the Montgomery Music Project which she founded during her tenure as cello fellow with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.

Usiskin coordinates a music series at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Art. Performances occur a few times each year and serve to complement new AEIVA exhibitions.

Usiskin will perform with pianist Ting Li. Li was a Birmingham resident until recently, and now lives in Mississippi. Usiskin said she and Li started collaborating after Li reached out to her to get together and play informally.

Li’s biography mentions that she was the first Asian pianist to win the Music Teachers National Association southwest region piano competition. Among her other honors are having been part of the Cleveland Institute of Music’s collaborative piano program.

At opus 5, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 2, which will open Thursday’s concert, is very early in the composer’s output. Even as a Romantic Period piece, it is also early in the history of cello sonatas, said Usiskin. She said up to this point, the cello had not really been used a solo instrument, but served more of a bass function. Classical Period composers like Mozart and Haydn didn’t write cello sonatas, she said.

“I think there’s a boldness and intensity to a lot of Beethoven’s music,” said Usiskin. She said among other things, his sudden and surprising shifts in volume give a very dramatic quality to the music. “[It has] more charged, emotional content that is uniquely Beethoven,” she said.

Usiskin and Li will also perform “Sans Titre V,” composed in 2006 by William Price. Price is on the music faculty at UAB. Usiskin said the piece has themes that she hears as characters. “It kind of tells a story,” she added. She said it has a lyrical, singing character and a brutal character. “‘Brutal’ is actually written in the part,” she said.

It is a rarity to have music by Astor Piazzolla with just cello and piano, said Usiskin. She said he didn’t write a lot for cello. “Le Grand Tango” is the exception, and will close Thursday’s program. “Tangos have real intensity to them,” she said, adding that some might expect Tango to be lighthearted because it’s a dance. “This is pretty serious,” she said, adding, “Tangos are passionate.”

Guest Blogger: “Basquiat” Screens for FILM@JCSM April 7

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On Thursday, April 7 at 4 p.m. JCSM will screen the biographical drama, “Basquiat” in the auditorium. Run time is 108 min.

The film will be introduced by Freda Hadley, visiting assistant professor of ethnomusicology, Oberlin College.

Free admission thanks to our business partners, but advance ticket reservation is encouraged. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.

Reserve Here

About the Film

Enigmatic and expressive, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960 – 1988) was a prolific artist that sliced through society’s unassuming veneer to highlight injustice and reveal greater truths. In his first artistic endeavor, Basquiat took to the streets under the name SAMO where he completed textual pieces of graffiti comprised of trenchant observations about the world at large. Alongside the graffiti tradition, Basquiat regularly painted on various media, from a girlfriend’s dress to a stack of tires. Basquiat cultivated a bold and colorful Neo-Expressionist style that straddled the line between abstraction and figuration. His works were covered in snippets of scrawled text, drawings, and historical information, pulling upon a powerful amalgam of themes including pop-culture, African-American culture, music and youth culture which coalesced into a powerful visual language. Basquiat’s art focused on pointed critiques of contemporary society, condemning systemic racism and classism. His arresting images captivated the attention of the market and critics alike. Even today, his works, still highly revered and desired, have been sold for more than $16 million dollars.

“Basquiat” (1996) is both a dreamy and poignant venture into the artist’s propulsion from homeless gallery assistant in Tompkins Square Park to artist of international acclaim. With the vibrant 1980s New York art scene as a backdrop, this journey, brought to life by the skillful lead performance of Jeffrey Wright, is hardly a painless one. Although presenting in over twenty-three solo exhibitions and receiving incredible sums of money for his work, Basquiat struggles to curb his drug addiction despite repeated requests from mentor and artistic colleague, Andy Warhol (David Bowie), and confronts both blatant and insidious forms of racism in his ascent. In one scene, an unnamed interviewer (Christopher Walken) unabashedly asks Basquiat how he felt being deemed the “pickaninny” of the art world. As the movie ends, Basquiat relates a metaphorical tale to friend Benny (Benicio Del Toro) about a voiceless prince trapped in a tower who repeatedly knocked his crowned head against the prison bars in the hopes that he would be heard. Although people hear the beautiful sound he makes ringing through the air, they never find or release the prince. Just like his story counterpart, Basquiat declares, “It’s definitely time to get out of here.”

Written by Laura Pratt, Senior, History.


FILM@JCSM stands for “Fostering Interdisciplinary Learning through Movies.” The 2016 spring semester selections are programmed in conjunction with Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch Jr.

Each FILM@JCSM begins at 4 p.m., and will be introduced by a guest scholar. After the screening, there is café service and live jazz from 5 to 8 p.m.

A Little Lunch Music 3/31: Four AU Students to Perform Music for Solo Piano

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At noon on Thursday, March 31, pianist Christian McGee will perform a free concert at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University as a part of the museum’s weekly series, “A Little Lunch Music.” The performance is being sponsored by Malcolm and Ruth Crocker. The Museum Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The music can sometimes be heard inside the café, or visitors can dine before or after the concerts. Admission to the fine art exhibitions is free courtesy of JCSM Business Partners. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.

Series coordinator Patrick McCurry said Auburn University senior Christian McGee has performed for “A Little Lunch Music” as soloist and as a collaborator. He said since her first appearance as a freshman in 2012, she has developed a reputation. “The audiences love the way she plays,” he said, adding that he expects several will be there just because she is on the program.

McGee is from Florence, Alabama, and was once chosen to perform a movement of a Beethoven concerto at Carnegie Hall. She works with The Shoals Symphony, and premiered Roger Brigg’s “Symphony No. 2” with the group. She has appeared as a recitalist and has won awards in competitions across Georgia and Alabama. McGee will perform four movements from Nikolai Medtner’s “Fairy Tales, Op. 51,” as well as “Pieces pour Piano” by Béla Bartók.

McCurry said the other three pianists are new to the series. All are students of Dr. Jeremy Samolesky who heads the piano program at Auburn.

Pictured left is Emma Beth Fisher, middle is Trent Briden, and above is Rebekah Horton.)

Emma Beth Fisher is a freshman from Tampa, Florida. She plays piano, violin, and organ, and received her High School Diploma in Social Music from the American College of Musicians. She holds honors from the American Guild of Organists and Florida Federation of Music Clubs. Fisher will perform Lowell Lieberman’s “Nocturne, Op. 38, No. 4.”

Trent Briden was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to studying classical piano, he is currently pianist for The Evans Project, one of Auburn’s jazz combos. He will be releasing a CD of original piano solos this spring. Briden will perform Frédéric Chopin’s “Nocturne in F-sharp major, Op. 15, No. 2.”

Rebekah Horton is a sophomore from Birmingham, Alabama, studying accounting as well as piano. She has received first prize in the Birmingham Music Teachers Association Sonata-Sonatina competition and honors in the Alabama Music Teachers Association State Piano Auditions and Alabama Federation of Music Clubs Solo and Hymn festivals. Horton will perform Franz Joseph Haydn’s “Sonata in D major, HOB xvi:33, mov. 1,” and Franz Schubert’s “Impromptu in A-flat, Op. 142, No. 2.”

A Little Lunch Music 3/24: Montgomery Youth to Present String Music

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At noon on Thursday, March 24, the Montgomery Music Project will perform a free concert at JCSM as a part of the museum’s weekly series, “A Little Lunch Music.” The performance is being sponsored by Bob and Liz Greenleaf.

The Montgomery Music Project (MMP) is a member of El Sistema USA, an alliance of El Sistema inspired programs. El Sistema is the Venezuelan music education group that promotes social change through music. It is famous for producing the LA Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

Since 2014, Noemí Oeding has been the executive director of MMP, now in its fifth year. She said the hope is that MMP’s strategies can, through teaching music, give students the chance to succeed in life, whatever their backgrounds. Oeding said concepts like self-motivation, teamwork, and perseverance are all needed to be good musicians, but are just as important in normal life.

“Success to us is having students more engaged at school and at home because of what they’ve learned in their music classes,” said Oeding. “The focus is on making great people.”

Oeding said Thursday’s performance at the museum is an amazing opportunity. “Some of these kids have never left Montgomery,” she said. She added it will put them in the role of semi-professional musicians, something that commands respect and demands responsibility.

Oeding said one student, who had natural musical abilities, reminded her of herself and came from a similar background. “She was coasting on her talent,” said Oeding, who pushed her to do more. She said now the student has flourished into a confident soloist and leader among her peers. And it’s not just that one student, said Oeding. “Musically, the kids have really taken off in the last couple of years,” she said.

The group recently joined with the Park Crossing High School band and Hollywood filmmaker Sarah Adina Smith to make its first recording for a film score. Smith, who knows MMP’s founder Laura Usiskin, was looking for a certain sound for a scene in her movie. Oeding said the Project’s group of young players was a perfect fit.

Thomas Hinds wrote a version of Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” for the group’s recording. “He’s a big supporter of the program, and he leapt at the chance to write an arrangement,” said Oeding. Hinds conducts the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. MMP was established through the orchestra and operates under its oversight.

Before MMP, Oeding said the only opportunity for most kids to learn strings in Montgomery was through the public school system’s magnet program. For that, a lottery determined who got to be involved. Now, six to ten string professionals are teaching with the Project at any given time. This makes opportunity for 111 children to learn in group lessons and two orchestras. She said membership reflects the cultural and socio-economic makeup of its Montgomery community.

Oeding thinks 200 children could be involved in the next five years, but financial contributions are needed. She said Montgomery has the raw potential to produce many more participants. “If we had enough resources, we could reach a thousand students,” she said.

The Museum Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The music can sometimes be heard inside the café, or visitors can dine before or after the concerts. Admission to the fine art exhibitions is free courtesy of JCSM Business Partners.

A Little Lunch Music 3/10: Flute-Guitar Duo Will Present a Diverse Palette

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At noon on Thursday, March 10, Duo Avem, featuring flutist Lydia Carroll and guitarist Andrew Wilder will perform a free concert at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University as a part of the museum’s weekly series, “A Little Lunch Music.” The performance is being sponsored by Anonymous Friends of the Series.

Every spring, the guitar studio and the flute studio at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music get together for a joint concert. Two years ago, Lydia Carroll and Andrew Wilder paired up. The result produced not only music for the concert, but a named duo with a full repertoire and gigs in the community.

Carroll, who earned her Master’s degree from CSU, has stayed at the school for its Artist Diploma program. She said Wilder is a good match, even though he is an undergrad. She said he is a bit older than the others, having studied guitar in Italy right after high school. “It’s been really great playing with him,” said Carroll.

Wilder’s biography boasts two parents who work as professionals in classical music and ten siblings who have studied it extensively.

The duo will perform new music by Atanas Ourkouzounov, born in 1970. Carroll said the piece, “Légendes,” references the composer’s Bulgarian culture and its dance. It requires unusual flute techniques and makes use of mixed meter, a kind of rhythm and timing less familiar in traditional western music.

Thursday’s program will feature some transcriptions, or music that was composed for other instruments. Carroll and Wilder have arranged a baroque organ piece by Johann Sebastian Bach. One work by Arvo Pärt was originally for for cello and piano. Another one by Pärt, “Vater Unser,” or “The Lord’s Prayer,” was first meant to be performed by a boy soprano and piano.

Carroll said transcriptions like these pose certain challenges. For instance, playing a wind instrument requires breathing, and organ music is not usually written with that in mind. Plus, she said Pärt’s music very often uses lots of really long whole notes. “It’s been interesting as a flutist trying to make the phrases work,” she said.

Pärt was born in 1935. Aside from its beauty, one thing Carroll likes about his music is that he uses it to communicate his Christian faith. She said the same is true for Bach. Carroll said she believes there is worth in music strictly as an artistic expression, but using it in this overtly spiritual way resonates with her.

The Museum Café is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The music can sometimes be heard inside the café, or visitors can dine before or after the concerts. Free admission thanks to our business partners, but advance ticket reservation is encouraged. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated.

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Upcoming Events

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A Little Lunch Music: Fall 2017

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A Little Lunch Music: Fall 2017

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