The East Central University Music Department will present the Ninth Annual ECU Faculty, Students and Friends Composers’ Concert at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14, at the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.
The concert is free and open to the public. This event was originally scheduled for last February, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
W.T. Skye Garcia, composer, is the concert series coordinator.
Seven of the nine performances are premieres. The program will feature music composed by Kendall Carter, Ben Finley, Anna Tynsky, Steve Filkins (with poetry from Dr. Mark Walling), W.T. Skye Garcia (based on poetry from John Masefield), Victoria Davison and Rudy Lupinski, Michael McCrea, Zachary Garcia and Josey Allen (based on poetry of Kendra Grasser).
The concert will be opened by “Sonata” which will be performed by Carter. The piece was written as an assignment for Carter’s forms and analysis class in the spring 2015 and inspired by a Mozart piano sonata (K.333).
“Four Landscapes for Solo Marimba, I. Har Nevo (2015)”, composed and played on the marimba Finley. The background for the piece depicts not only the elevated ridge in Jordan where Moses was granted a view of the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 34), but also Mount Nebo State Park near Russellville, Ark., where Finley asked his wife Kristen to marry him.
“Bittersweet,” a guitar and vocal composed by Anna Tynsky in 2014 is also on the schedule. The song is inspired by the music of Edith Paif, the French singer of the 1950s. Tynsky wrote the music before the poem as she wanted the words to mirror the music and be spoken as if telling a story.
Also on the program are “On the Rousseau’s The Snake Charmer,” which features poetry of Walling and music by Filkins. The work was conceived during the composition class in autumn of 2013 at ECU. Students were given the opportunity to collaborate with other departments for inspiration toward a musical composition. Walling, a professor, submitted some of his poetry to the class in which “The Snake Charmer” caught Filkins’ attention by its title.
“Roadways” (2014) by W.T. Skye Garcia is the fourth song of “Songs of the Sea,” a five-movement vocal suite for tenor. The lyrics were written by Masefield, an English poet and writer and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967.
“Set Me as a Seal upon Your Heart” (2014) is a soprano and tenor duet by Davison and Lupinski. It will be a premier and the 57th work by the composers. The seeds for the piece were planted by Davison’s reading of Biblical scripture from the Song of Solomon at the wedding of former ECU faculty member Starla Hibler and Michael Raley in 2013.
“I Won’t Bring You Flowers” (2003) by Michael McCrea, who was inspired by a friend who told McCrea about he and his wife had taken flowers to an elderly church member and that would probably be the last time they would get to take flowers. The friend’s mother said there should be a song about not bringing flowers anymore. McCrea’s own mother said “if we could not give flowers while she was alive not to give them to her after she was gone and could not enjoy them.” McCrea wrote the piece in about 30 minutes.
“What Can Man Do?” (2015) will be performed by Zachary Garcia. The piece was written in honor of those who lost their lives at the Charleston, S.C. church shooting this past summer.
“Anchored in Love” (2014) by Allen is based on Grasser’s poetry of when she was going through a difficult season of life. When Allen heard Grasser’s poem, she felt compelled to help bring it completely to life through music.