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Headshot of pianist Lawrence Quinnett

A Little Lunch Music, 3/22/2018: Pianist Returning with Liszt’s ‘Transcendental Etudes’

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On Thursday, March 22, from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by pianist Lawrence Quinnett. The program will feature all twelve of the “Transcendental Études” of Franz Liszt. Thanks to gifts from Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about Quinnett and the full series schedule for spring 2018.

Quinnett has performed, given masterclasses, and lectured in St. Kitts and the United Kingdom as well as in the southeast US. He has appeared as a soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, the Florida State University Symphony Orchestra, and the Samuel Barber Festival Orchestra.

Festivals that have featured Quinnett include the New Music Festival, the John Cage Festival at Florida State, the Ligeti Symposium and Festival, and Charleston’s Colour of Music Festival which celebrates composers of African descent. He teaches at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, and previously served at Wallace Community College in Dothan.

This will be Quinnett’s third time to perform for “A Little Lunch Music.”

“I find that the more that I perform, the more I enjoy it,” Quinnett said. On Thursday, he will perform all twelve of Franz Liszt’s “Transcendental Études.” Liszt was a Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso who lived from 1811 to 1886.

Liszt composed three versions of his “Transcendental Études.” There are twelve pieces in the collection. Quinnett says the original études feel like exercises, which is what études, or studies, traditionally are. The second version was different.

“The second version was just insanely difficult, and is hardly ever performed,” Quinnett said. “When you see the second version, you see how amazing a pianist Liszt was.” Quinnett says Liszt then completely re-worked virtually all of the études into its final version.

The third version of “Transcendental Études” is the one Quinnett will perform Thursday. He says it is streamlined, but still supports Liszt’s signature virtuosity. “They are still incredibly difficult,” Quinnett said.

Quinnett says Liszt was one of the very first pianists who performed solo recitals that featured only one performer. Liszt’s approach was one in which he paraphrased Louis XIV’s famous quote, “I am the state,” saying, “I am the recital.”

Just as Liszt transcended conventions with his startling abilities, Quinnett says the études’ title suggests music that goes beyond what is natural, mundane, or even possible. Quinnett says this was perhaps to give the impression of going beyond the idea of playing fast notes, bringing the étude into the realm of art music.

Quinnett says the titles of Liszt’s études are reminiscent of the grand, fantastical, deeply felt ideas of the Romantic period of Western art and culture. One is translated “Rockets,” another “Memory,” and another is named after a poem in which a rider is strapped to a wild horse.

“Liszt actually wanted his hearers to feel like they were on a journey,” Quinnett said. “He was the consummate Romantic.” Living in Paris when he composed these pieces, Liszt was as the center of culture during his time.

Headshot of Lunch Music Patty Holley

A Little Lunch Music, 3/8/2018: Award-winning Soprano Performing Opera and Art Songs

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On Thursday, March 8, from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by soprano Patty Holley with pianist Dawn Driggers. The program will feature music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonín Dvořák, Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert, George & Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II. Thanks to gifts from Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about the performers and a full schedule for spring 2018.

Hailing from Eclectic, Alabama, Holley has received awards and recognitions including first place at the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra’s Vann Vocal Institute. She is a senior at Auburn University pursuing degrees in Vocal Performance and Music Education.

In 2017, Holley played the role of Countess Almaviva in Auburn University’s Opera Workshop production of Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” On Thursday, she will reprise the role, singing an aria from that opera.

The program will also feature opera music by Dvořák. “I’ve always been drawn to opera,” Holley said. She says she enjoys the element of storytelling and that it’s larger than life.

Inspired by folk and fairy tales, Dvořák’s “Rusalka” is an opera that tells the tale of a water nymph who gives up her immortality for love of a man. Holley says it doesn’t have a happy ending. “It’s basically a dark version of ‘The Little Mermaid,’” Holley said. The duo will perform “Song to the Moon,” a love song from the opera, in it’s original Czech language.

Pianist, conductor, and composer André Previn wrote his “Three Dickenson Songs” for famous opera soprano Renée Fleming. Holley says the songs are easy to listen to, even though Previn composed them using complex harmonic techniques. The poems have similar themes, contrasting day and night.

Holley and Driggers will perform art songs by Debussy and Schubert. Holley says Debussy’s “Chansons de Bilitis” is set in mythical Greece, and recounts a young, unmarried woman’s personal discovery and sexual awakening. The four songs by Schubert are unrelated. Holley says the order and character of the songs match that of a traditional four-movement symphony.

Thursday’s program will end with two songs from musical theatre, the Gershwin brothers’ “Someone to Watch Over Me” from the musical “Oh Kay!” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “I Cain’t Say No” from “Oklahoma!”

Driggers serves as a collaborative pianist at Auburn University, where she works with voice majors, the Opera Workshop, and the Women’s Chorus. She served on the music faculties of Presbyterian College and Newberry College in South Carolina. She has taught private voice and piano since 1987 and has 29 years of experience directing children’s choirs.

Photo of Classical guitarist Luther Enloe. Photo credit: Victoria Enloe

A Little Lunch Music, 3/1/2018: Classical Guitarist Performing Renaissance, Romantic, New Music

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On Thursday, March 1, from noon to 1:00 pm in the auditorium, the series will present a free concert by classical guitarist Luther Enloe. The program will feature music by Luys de Narváez, Heitor Villa-Lobos, John Anthony Lennon, Nickitas Demos, Maximo Diego Pujol, and Stuart Weber. Thanks to gifts from Linda Anderson and from Anonymous Friends of the Series for helping to make this performance possible.

Click here for the event page on our calendar with more about the performer and the series’ full spring 2018 schedule.

A Hill Guitar Company Signature Artist, Dr. Enloe performs as soloist and with ensembles including the Georgia State University Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Philharmonic Orchestra. He has premiered music with the Vega String Quartet and Atlanta’s new-music ensemble, Bent Frequency.

The program will feature Renaissance music by Luys de Narváez from Spain, and Heitor Villa-Lobos who was a Romantic Period composer from Brazil. Music by living composers John Anthony Lennon, Nickitas Demos, Maximo Diego Pujol, and Stuart Weber will also be featured.

For Enloe, studying music began at age seven, when he and his father began taking trumpet lessons together. At age 11, Enloe got an electric guitar. He says he started taking guitar lessons to learn songs like “You Shook Me All Night Long” by the popular hard-rock band AC/DC.

He knew he loved music, and wanted to go to the Guitar Institute of Technology, a rock-and-roll college in Hollywood, California. But his parents could only support a college choice that was closer to home, so he chose the classical guitar major at Montana State University.

“I hated it,” Enloe said.

But in his sophomore year, Enloe made a commitment to himself to practice two hours a day. He says he fell in love with classical guitar. During the course of his studies, he met renowned guitar pedagogue John Sutherland. The two made a strong student-teacher connection, and soon after, Enloe moved to Georgia to study with Sutherland.

“I went from hating it to totally rearranging my life for it,” Enloe said.

He ended up earning Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees from the University of Georgia studying under Sutherland. During that time, Enloe was able to study on several occasions with American virtuoso Christopher Parkening.

Now based in Atlanta, Enloe is on the music faculty of both Georgia State University and Emory University.

Composer Nickitas Demos also teaches at Georgia State and composed “Tonoi XI” for Enloe. The piece will be on Thursday’s program. Enloe says it is a very tocatta-like piece, meaning it is virtuosic, showing off the technique of the performer. Tocatta’s meaning is related to “touch.”

Demos is a clarinetist. Enloe said he worries about pieces for guitar written by non-guitarists. Without intimate knowledge of the guitar’s strengths and limitations, composers will often write music that does not flatter it or is even impossible to play. But Enloe was pleasantly surprised.

“A lot of it is surprisingly idiomatic,” Enloe said of “Tonoi XI.” He says one page of it was, in fact, unplayable at first, but a colleague suggested changing it to a slightly higher key. On guitar, what might seem like a small change, such as raising the music by a half step, can drastically change the movement and placement of the fingers. Enloe said it was the perfect solution, and now is one of his favorite things to play.

Much of composer Stewart Weber’s music is inspired by or interprets landscapes and scenes in nature. “He wrote really beautiful, really accessible music,” Enloe said. On Thursday, Enloe will perform Weber’s “The Missouri Breaks.”

The Missouri Breaks are an area that the U. S. Department of the Interior’s website describes as geologic layers that have been “folded, faulted, uplifted, modified by volcanic activity and sculpted by glaciers.” It is along the banks of the upper Missouri River in Montana, the state where Enloe grew up.

Enloe says he had been listening to Weber’s piece for twenty years before he decided to perform it. When he looked into finding the music, he discovered that Weber had grown up in Enloe’s same childhood neighborhood in Great Falls, Montana.

Photo of Classical guitarist Luther Enloe. Photo credit: Victoria Enloe
Auburn University double-reed studio, spring 2018. Photo credit: Kristin Leitterman

A Little Lunch Music, 2/22/2018: AU Oboes and Bassoons Performing

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On Thursday, February 22, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Grand Gallery, the series will present a free concert by members of the Auburn University double-reed studio. Led by assistant professor of double-reeds, Kristin Leitterman, the group will perform ensemble music and duos with piano. A gift from Bill and Josie Walsh has helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for the full spring schedule and more about the performers.

Performing Thursday will be oboists Aly Bonville, Alyssa Landers, Erica Lovato, Sarah Tanner, and Aaron Thompson with bassoonists Emma Greer, Carlisle Vidourek, and Jacob Webb. The program will feature solo and chamber music including two pieces by the Auburn University Double Reed Ensemble.

The double-reed studio is led by Dr. Kristin Leitterman, Auburn’s Assistant Professor of Double Reeds. A solo artist of oboe and voice, she says that she seeks to defy modern convention, bringing exciting and unusual programs to audiences. In addition to her role at AU, she directs the Bert Lucarelli Oboe Master Class.

Leitterman says though music for oboe and bassoon is not as common as that for the violin or piano, a lot was written in the Baroque period and during the 20th century. Thursday’s recital will include a Baroque solo fantasy by Georg Philipp Telemann and pieces by twentieth-century composers Benjamin Britten, Francis Poulenc, and Paul Hindemith.

The Classical Period produced its share of double-reed music, notably by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven. “We have these great classical composers writing for us,” Leitterman said. Thursday’s concert will feature music by both of them, including a trio for two oboes and English horn by Beethoven.

“He idolized Mozart when he was younger,” Leitterman said of Beethoven. The double-reed trio will play his variations on a theme from Mozart’s opera, “Don Giovanni.”

Robert Schumann’s “Three Romances for Oboe and Piano” is on the program for Thursday. It is likely the most well-known piece for oboe from the Romantic Period. That period saw a decline in published music for double reeds.

Though Leitterman says some think Schumann’s piece is the only one written for oboe during the Romantic Period, virtuosos of the time were touring and performing their own music. Some is now just being discovered and presented again.

Leitterman will conduct the eight-member Double Reed Ensemble on two pieces. The group will play an arrangement of Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” and a satirical piece by still-living composer Stacey Berk titled, “Fanfare for the Common Mandrel.” A mandrel is a reed-making tool used by double-reed players.

Berk’s piece will include arrangements of popular themes including Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” the theme from “The Andy Griffith Show,” Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz,” “Turkey in the Straw,” and others. It will also highlight two common orchestral excerpts from the oboe repertoire.

La is instructor and collaborative pianist at AU. She studied at New York University with Eduardus Halim, a Vladimir Horowitz pupil, and won two piano concerto competitions. She is completing a Doctoral degree at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Agostino has given piano recitals throughout much of the US and is an instructor and collaborative pianist at Auburn. She holds degrees from Indiana University and Florida State University, and is the owner of Yogafly Studio in Auburn.

Francesca Andretta. Credit: Cady Studios

A Little Lunch Music, 2/8/2018: AU Flute Studio Performing with Pianist Nicole Agostino

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Members of the Auburn University flute studio with pianist Nicole Agostino will perform a free concert at Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University on Thursday from noon to 1:00 p.m. in the Grand Gallery. The concert is part of the weekly series, “A Little Lunch Music.”

The performance is supported in part by a gift from George Kent and by an anonymous gift.

Click here for more about the performers and for the full A Little Lunch Music schedule for spring 2018.

Flutists performing will be Francesca Andretta, Morgan Mabry, Katie Olszowy, and Gillian Ash. They are all students of flute instructor Alina Windell and perform with university ensembles such as the Symphonic Winds, Marching Band, Flute Ensemble, and Woodwind Quintet.

Featured on Thursday’s program will be music by French composers Gabriel Faure, Cécil Chaminade, and Phillipe Gaubert, and Rumanian composer Georges Enesco, who spent much of his life in France. They wrote music around the turn of the 20th century.

Olszowy is a sophomore from Huntsville studying both Music Performance and Human Development. She is a member of groups that promote the welfare of college bands.

Ash is a freshman studying both Music Performance and animal sciences pre-vet. In high school, she played in honor bands and also plays trumpet.

Andretta is a Music Education major from Woodstock, Georgia. She recently recorded a demo project with Auburn composers Linda Anderson and Nancy Cleveland.

Mabry is a junior studying both Music Performance and Education. She also plays trombone and illustrates children’s books.

Agostino has given recitals throughout much of the United States, including a lecture-recital tour of the Southeast on Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” She is adjunct instructor and collaborative pianist at Auburn University and is the owner of Yogafly Studio.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. The schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, university Liaison and curator of Education, at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

A Little Lunch Music, 2/1/2018: Acclaimed Improvisor Ken Vandermark Performing with His Quintet

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On Thursday, February 1, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Auditorium, the series will present a free concert by Chicago-based improvised-music group Marker, featuring clarinetist/saxophonist/composer Ken Vandermark. The group will perform a live soundtrack to Chris Marker’s short film, La Jetée and a set of original compositions. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about the performers and the full schedule for spring 2018’s A Little Lunch Music.

Marker will also appear at 7:00 p.m. Thursday night at Standard Deluxe, 1015 Mayberry Ave. in Waverly. Tickets for the Waverly performance are $10 at the door or online at standarddeluxe.com.

Marker includes Vandermark on saxophones and clarinets, Andrew Clinkman and Steve Marquette on guitars, Macie Stewart on violin and keyboard, and Phil Sudderberg on drums.

Based in Chicago since 1989, Vandermark works as both performer and organizer. He tours Europe, North America, Russia, South America, Japan, and the U.S., performing and recording to critical acclaim. At home, he co-curates Option, a March-to-October weekly music series at Experimental Sound Studio.

Among Vandermark’s accolades are receiving the MacArthur Foundation’s fellowship award in 1999. He considers his main creative interest to be exploring new music that deals with advanced methods of improvisation. With Marker, he continues on that track with the intent of creating new forms for improvised music.

On Thursday at the museum, Marker will perform some of Vandermark’s original works including a live soundtrack to Chris Marker’s short film, “La Jetée.” The group’s name is connected with the filmmaker only coincidentally. But the quintet’s biography singles the soundtrack out as part of a key series of shows at a Milwaukee residency. The shows led up to a festival in Chicago and subsequent recording of its first album, “Wired for Sound” in 2017.

“I’m a really big fan of Chris Marker as a filmmaker and artist,” Vandermark said. “La Jetée,” a French film with English subtitles, is a sci-fi film about time. Though the music is experimental, Vandermark says the film has a more straightforward storyline than many of the filmmaker’s other works.

Vandermark has performed with films before, but it has always been spontaneously improvised. “This was the first time I’ve written specific music to a specific film,” he said.

For the evening concert at Standard Deluxe, though not performing the soundtrack, Marker will present an extended set of Vandermark’s originals.

The group promotes itself as being inspired by Bernie Worrell’s keyboard work with Parliament Funkadelic and Talking Heads; new classical music; the guitar work of post-punk groups like Wire and The Ex; and grooves from Brazilian music, afrobeat, and funk.

“We’re mixing these things and putting them against each other,” Vandermark said.

Jazz music was a major factor in the birth of the current genre of improvised music. Vandermark said jazz musicians like Miles Davis changed what they created as new styles of music appeared. Vandermark says he is trying to bring conventions of jazz to a new place in 2018.

“We’re bringing improvised music and jazz into a contemporary context,” Vandermark said.

Vandermark’s website is kenvandermark.com.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. The schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, university Liaison and curator of Education, at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

The evening event at Standard Deluxe will be in the venue’s Pea Ridge Listening Room, often called the Little House. For more information, visit standarddeluxe.com or call 334-826-6423.

Below is audio of Marker performing on August 20, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Photos of artists Duraski and Dunn Powell

A Little Lunch Music, 1/25/2018: Two AU Faculty Sopranos Leading Mixed Recital

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On Thursday, January 25, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Grand Gallery, the series will present a free concert by soprano Rosephanye Dunn Powell and mezzo-soprano Anne Duraski with pianist Joshua Pifer. The group will present solo and chamber music by composers including Joseph Canteloube, Johannes Brahms, Alexander Scriabin, Jacques Offenbach, and new arrangements by Dr. Powell. A gift from Bob Ekelund and Mark Thornton and an anonymous gift have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about the performers and a full schedule for the spring 2018 season of A Little Lunch Music.

Powell serves as Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Auburn University. A researcher, interpreter, and performer of the African-American spiritual, she has presented recitals and lecture-recitals around the country, in Europe, and in the Caribbean. Recognized worldwide as a composer of choral music, she is considered to be one of America’s premier women composers.

Powell says Cantaloube, born in France in 1859, was a musicologist as well as a composer. He collected folk songs, and on Thursday, she will perform a set of his arrangements. “These are folk songs that he has elevated to the level of art song,” she said.

Powell says the vocal lines Cantaloube arranged are beautiful, and he composed piano accompaniment to depict sounds of nature. “Nature in art song is a common theme, and parallel with love,” she said. “All of these are within nature, depicting love and experiences of love.”

Duraski is director of Auburn University’s Opera Workshop and teaches Voice and Opera Literature. She served as principal lyric mezzo-soprano for the Schleswig-Hosteinisches Landestheater in Flenburg, Germany, and has appeared in opera houses in Italy, Switzerland, and the United States. She recently performed in the role of Suzuki in Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” with the Mobile Opera.

The singers will perform together two new arrangements by Powell of African-American spirituals. She approaches her arrangements in a similar way as Cantaloube to his folk songs. “To preserve the heritage, I typically try to make sure that I use the original melody,” she said. But she says she uses the piano part to create different colors to help depict the meaning of the words.

Powell says slaveowners would often keep slaves from assembling, so one reason spirituals were used was to express deep emotion to each other. Someone singing “There Is a Balm in Gilead,” which Powell will perform Thursday, would be at a low point, even despondent. She says she wrote a piano part that has a soothing, healing sound, flowing like a balm on the skin and also the soul.

Powell says slaveowners would hear another spiritual, “Every Time I feel the Spirit,” as a song about God. But slaves intended it as very specific to the condition they were in. She says the song gave tremendous hope to slaves for their bodily freedom. It even goes so far as to teach things about how to escape and about the mindset someone should have when seeking freedom.

Pifer is a senior lecturer at Auburn, recently returning from a two-week piano residency in Taiwan. He is an international performer, clinician, and adjudicator, and is a founding member of both Duo Echo with oboist Jennifer Pifer and Plains2 with trombonist Matthew Wood. He released his first solo CD, “Alexander Tcherepnin: My Favorite Piano Works,” in 2015.

Other music on Thursday’s program will be a solo piano work by Scriabin, art song by Brahms, and a comical piece often attributed to Gioachino Rossini.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. The schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, university Liaison and curator of Education, at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

A Little Lunch Music, 1/18/2018: Montevallo Faculty Performing Music for Soprano and Guitar

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DUE TO THE WEATHER-RELATED DELAYED OPENING, THIS PERFORMANCE WILL START AT 12:15 P.M.

On Thursday, January 18, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Auditorium, the series will present a free concert by lyric soprano Melanie Williams with guitarist Alan Goldspiel. The duo will present music by Matyas Seiber, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, John W. Duarte, Mordechai Gebirtig, George Gershwin, and Mark Warshawsky, in addition to compositions and arrangements by Dr. Goldspiel. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for the event page on our calendar with more about the performers and the season’s full schedule.

Williams has received positive reviews for her stage and concert works and for her recordings with the LeBaron Trio. She has appeared in concerts throughout the southeast with symphonies and choral groups and in England with the International Cathedral Music Festival. She is Professor of Music at the University of Montevallo.

The award-winning Goldspiel has performed world premieres at New York’s Carnegie and CAMI Halls, has been featured on National Public Radio, and has performed in the critically acclaimed Goldspiel/Provost Duo. His own music has been performed around the world. He is Professor of Music and Chair of the Department of Music at Montevallo.

Thursday’s program will feature original music by Matyas Seiber, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, John W. Duarte, Mordechai Gebirtig, George Gershwin, and Mark Warshawsky, in addition to compositions and arrangements by Goldspiel.

Though singing with a guitarist likely started when the guitar was invented, these days art song is more commonly sung with piano. “In a way it’s so different, in a way it’s the same,” Williams said. “When I do things with Alan, it’s softer and more intimate,” she said. As a result, she says she feels like she’s grown as a chamber musician.

Recently, Barbara Bonfield, a University of Montevallo supporter, commissioned Goldspiel to write a piece for her birthday celebration. The result was “With Solitude and Song.” It sets to music three poems by nineteenth-century poet Emma Lazarus. Lazarus was a New Yorker of Jewish lineage whose lines are engraved in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

Goldspiel says Lazarus did a lot to help refugees from Eastern Europe. He made the connection between Lazarus and Bonfield because of Bonfield’s Jewish faith and her personal history of helping others.

Goldspiel arranged another set of three songs that the duo performed at Bonfield’s birthday party. Two are Yiddish melodies for children, written by Mordechai Gebirtig and Mark Warshawsky who lived around the turn of the 20th century. Williams says the two lullabies were very popular in Eastern Europe. She remembers a holocaust survivor at the party who wept, not having heard the songs since childhood.

The third song in Goldspiel’s arrangement is George Gershwin’s “Summertime” from the 1935 opera, “Porgy and Bess.” Though Gershwin was born in the United States, his parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe. Williams says he would have heard the lullabies from family members. “These would’ve been passed down,” she said. “You can hear the influence.”

Goldspiel contributes one other of his works to Thursday’s program. The duo will perform “Twilight,” “Dark Clouds,” and “Windstorm,” three songs from his “Nature Sketches.” “The goal was to really just do a soundscape of those titled nature events,” he said.

“The Divan of Moses-Ibn Ezra” is a collection of medieval poems set to music by twentieth-century composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Williams says they are basically a history of the Jewish people, in and out of exile, being separated from loved ones.

“They’re so sad,” Williams said of Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s collection, the full version of which contains nineteen songs. She says for Thursday’s program, they chose the two least sad from the collection’s “Part I, Songs of Wandering.”

Williams says French composer Matyas Seiber’s “Four French Folk Songs” evokes scenes from the lives of colorful people. A young man is coaxing a lover out at midnight. A grandmother is chastising the doctor for suggesting she give up wine. “It’s all kind of veiled references to gossip,” she said. “Something’s going on, but it’s not very overt.”

Williams and Goldspiel will close Thursday’s program with John W. Duarte’s “Hark, Hark, The Ark!” She says they are silly little verses about things like baboons trying to fly to the moon, written by Spike Milligan, a British-Irish comedian, among other things.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. The schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, Curator of Education and University Liaison, at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

baritone Matthew Hoch

A Little Lunch Music, 1/11/2018: Auburn Faculty Performing Vocal Music by Women

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On Thursday, January 11, from noon to 1:00 pm in the Auditorium, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by baritone Matthew Hoch with pianist Jeremy Samolesky. The duo will present a program of music by women composers, including Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger, and Jocelyne Binet. Gifts from anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

Click here for more about the performers and the series’ full spring schedule.

Hoch is Associate Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Voice Studies at Auburn University. He is the 2016 winner of the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship. His books include “A Dictionary for the Modern Singer,” “Welcome to Church Music & The Hymnal 1982,” and “Voice Secrets: 100 Performance Strategies for the Advanced Singer.”

For Thursday’s program, the duo will choose music from composers such as Clara Schumann, Francesca Caccini, Nadia Boulanger, and others. “These are some of the biggest names among women composers,” Hoch said.

Hoch’s decision to create a program featuring music by women is timely. The university’s alumni association recently announced its campaign celebrating 125 years of Auburn women. And Hoch says this past fall, he founded and taught the school’s first ever Women in Music course.

Also noteworthy is Hoch’s upcoming performance tour that will include a stop in the United Arab Emirates. Though Hoch says UAE is among the more liberal of the Arab nations, women there still face great challenges. He says programs like Thursday’s are uncommon there.

In researching women composers, Hoch says he read about famous French baritone Gérard Souzay’s premiere of Jocelyne Binet’s “Cycle de mélodies,” written in 1955. He discovered that the piece was never published, and that there are no professional recordings available.

Hoch says with the help of Liza Weisbrod at the university’s library, he found Binet’s manuscript in Quebec’s national library and archives. He is now working to have the set of six songs published. “I’m giving the first performances of it in sixty years,” Hoch said.

Samolesky is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Piano Studies at Auburn. His debut solo CD was released by Centaur Records in 2015. He is a winner of The American Prize Competition in Piano Performance, Professional Division, and Auburn University’s Excellence in Teaching award.

A Little Lunch Music is coordinated by Patrick McCurry. It is an informal, weekly series that features national and international performers as well as the region’s professionals and students. McCurry says the series has been increasing in popularity, with weekly attendance numbers adding up to almost 1,000 in fall 2017.

Hoch and Samolesky’s performance will be one of the series’ five spring vocal recitals including one by New York Metropolitan Opera veteran Janet Hopkins on April 12. The season will also feature solo piano performances by Vadim Serebryany on February 15 and Lawrence Quinnett on March 22.

Marker, a Chicago-based improvised-music group led by MacArthur Foundation grant recipient Ken Vandermark, will perform on February 1. Other dates will feature instrumental chamber music, gospel jazz, and Irish music. The full schedule can be found on the museum’s calendar at jcsm.auburn.edu.

For more information, contact Scott Bishop, university Liaison and curator of Education at bishogs@auburn.edu or 334-844-7014.

Phyllis Gauker, director of the Auburn Music Club Singers. Photo credit Patrick McCurry.

A Little Lunch Music, 12/14/2017: Auburn Music Club Singers Presenting Christmas Concert

By | Art Experiences, Music, News, Performances, Visiting Artist | No Comments

On Thursday, December 15 from noon to 1:00 pm, the series will present a free concert in the Auditorium by the Auburn Music Club Singers. The group will present a choral program of traditional Christmas music and featuring composers including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Wesley D. Peters, Emmett Kennedy, Victor C. Johnson, Herbert Chappel, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Peter Gruber. Pianist Mary Slaton will take requests from the audience for Christmas carols. Gifts from Bill Wilson and anonymous friends of the series have helped to make this performance possible.

The group’s director, Phyllis Gauker, has degrees in music from Auburn and from William & Mary. She studied voice and conducting and taught high school choral music in Virginia and the U.S. Virgin Islands before moving back to Auburn. There she worked for the city until retiring.

In 2002, Gauker accepted the volunteer director position, promising every year to expose its members to serious choral repertoire. Each year, she and the Singers work up programs for a spring concert and a Christmas concert.

On Thursday, the singers will present traditional and new Christmas music, with solos by Jacquiruth Kemp Stover and flutist Janet H. Sanders. Pianist Elizabeth Rutledge will accompany the choir. Pianist Mary Slaton will close the program with carols requested by the audience.

“I don’t think that we’re preparing a program just for an audience,” Gauker said. “We’re doing it for ourselves as well.” The all-women group rehearses weekly on Tuesday mornings. Currently at twelve singers, they are open to accepting new members.

Slaton, who also has music degrees, says she has sung with the group off-and-on for about five years. “Some of it gets kind of tough,” Slaton said. “It’s hard music.” But she said most people in the group have experience or training in music. She said Gauker can be demanding, but that’s ok. “She is knowledgable,” Slaton said. “She knows what she’s talking about.”

Gauker says Thursday’s first two pieces will show the variety of music the group performs. She says Joseph M. Martin’s “Sing! Shout! Alleluia!” is a new piece with contemporary rhythms that is a lot of fun. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Alleluia Canon” follows, composed in the late 1700s. “In contrast it is so wonderful,” she said.

Gauker says her mission is to foster the experience of singing in an ensemble. She says a professional approach to rehearsing choral repertoire gives a real feeling of accomplishment, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “They get the satisfaction of the soloist who could do it alone without having to do it alone,” she said.

“Equally important is having fun,” said Gauker. “That’s why we don’t get as much done as we want, because we’re having such a good time.”

For information about joining the Auburn Music Club Singers, contact Gauker at 334-887-7261.

Auburn Music Club Singers. Photo credit Patrick McCurry.

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Student Practicum Talks

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