Kassia and Friends IV concert on Sept. 29 to feature works of contemporary, classical and romantic composers

September 13, 2013

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Kassia: Women in Song

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Department of Performing and Visual Arts will host its fourth Kassia and Friends faculty chamber recital at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts. This unique, collaborative concert will combine the talents of the university's vocal and instrumental faculty members in repertoire by four contemporary composers, as well as classical and romantic works.

The chamber recital will include the members of the UW-Platteville vocal ensemble Kassia: Women in Song, Dr. Susan Savage Day and Rebekah Demaree, sopranos, and Sharon Jensen, piano; as well as other UW-Platteville faculty members from the Department of Performing and Visual Arts, including Allen Cordingley, saxophone; Dr. Trey Davis, tenor; Matt Gregg, horn; Dr. Jacqueline Wilson, bassoon; and guest violinist, Ann Duchow.

Founded by Day and Demaree in 2006, Kassia concerts are devoted to providing distinctive programming with an educational component. Repertoire features female composers, female poets and chamber works with instrumentalists and seldom-heard literature. The ensemble has performed 21 recitals in Wisconsin and Iowa since its inception.

"The Kassia concerts have become a tradition and many people from local and regional communities look forward to enjoying these Sunday afternoons filled with music," said Day. "The idea for Kassia originated when we decided to create a professional vocal ensemble at UW-Platteville. Since the group began, we have focused our performances on women's themes because we wanted to bring attention to female composers and poets as well as female issues.”

"Kassia provides UW-Platteville vocal and instrumental faculty members with a unique opportunity to collaborate on making music," said Demaree. "The music area has a number of new faculty members this year, and it is exciting to have one join us for this program. During the academic year, we all become very busy teaching and working together on committees, but often what really inspires us is the chance to rehearse and perform with our talented colleagues."

The concert will feature works by composers Franz Joseph Haydn, Franz Lachner, Joaquin Nin, Simon Sargon, Frank Ticheli, Trevor Reed and Eric Whitacre with texts by Jorge Luis Borges, Gideon Burton, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Hila Plitmann, Rabindranath Tagore and Johann Nepomuk Vogl. The concert also features a Dutch folk song set by a Spanish Cuban composer.

The program will weave together vocal and instrumental works that originate from poets and composers representing diverse countries, including Argentina, Austria, Cuba, Germany, India, Israel and the United States. Even within the United States, the writers of the songs and text hail from varied regions that encompass Louisiana, Maine, Nevada, Utah and the Hopi tribe.

"The weaving together of vocal and instrumental works from many countries of the world symbolizes how music has the unique ability to unite people of the world," said Day. “The power of music, poetry and all art erases boundaries and builds a world community. We share the universal language of music and live to serve that art.”

"Themes for the music will include hunting, love, nature, light and water,” said Demaree. “The Haydn and Reed sets combine nature and love, appropriately enough in an autumn setting. The Sargon and Nin works take a poetic look at hunting and being on watch. The Ticheli, Lachner and Whitacre sets have themes of light, color and water intermingled. It is always a delight for Susan and me to develop our program ideas separately and then integrate the songs to form the final program theme. We are lucky that as two sopranos, we have never actually selected the same repertoire to sing, and that makes for a beautiful singing partnership.”

General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for UW-Platteville students.  Tickets can be purchased by calling the University Box Office at (877)727-1CFA or online: tickets.uwplatt.edu

Contact: Dr. Susan Savage Day, UW-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1085, daysu@uwplatt.edu and Rebekah Demaree, UW-Platteville Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1041, demareer@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie A. Hamer, UW-Platteville College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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