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October's First Tuesday Concert at UE to Celebrate Evansville's Bicentennial

Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Tuesday, October 2, the University of Evansville Department of Music will present a concert in honor of the City of Evansville’s Bicentennial, featuring the world premiere of a new work composed for the occasion. The concert, part of the First Tuesday Concert Series, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Neu Chapel and is free and open to the public.

In recognition of the University’s contributions to the city’s cultural life, the program will feature works composed specifically for UE’s Department of Music. The University Choir, Jazz Ensemble, and Wind Ensemble will perform works by Ronald Kauffmann, Josh Stallings, and John Corigliano, and the concert will also include the world premiere of a new work by University Symphony Orchestra director Brian St. John.

The concert will open with Jubilate Deo by Ronald Kauffmann, commissioned by the Friends of UE Music to honor Shirley Shepherd. Shepherd, an alumnus of Evansville College, taught vocal music in the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation for 41 years. Kauffmann, a former student of Shepherd’s, graduated from UE in 1971. He majored in voice and minored in both trombone and piano.

The Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Timothy Zifer, will perform Bells of November. The composer, UE student Josh Stallings, is a theatre design and technology major with associated studies in music, and is completing a Jazz Studies Certificate. Bells of November was composed in 2010 and was inspired by the Olmsted Hall chimes. The work was presented at the 2011 Elmhurst Jazz Festival where it received an honorable mention award.

The highlight of the concert will be the University Symphony Orchestra’s world premiere of Brian St. John’s Dominion Overture. Written specifically for this event, the piece describes aspects of the settlement of Evansville, musically depicting clearing of land, construction of residences, and an emerging community arising next to the Ohio River. St. John has composed numerous works including a piano concerto, a bass concertino, a double concerto for mandolin, mandola, and string orchestra, and seven ballets.

The program will conclude with the Wind Ensemble’s performance of John Corigliano’s Gazebo Dances, directed by Kenneth Steinsultz. Corigliano has emerged in recent decades as one of America’s prominent composers. Among his best-known works are his opera Ghosts of Versailles and his Oscar-winning score to the movie The Red Violin. He has received numerous prestigious awards including a Pulitzer Prize, the Grawemeyer Award, and three Grammys. Gazebo Dances was premiered in 1973 by the University of Evansville Wind Ensemble under the direction of Robert Bailey.

First Tuesday Concerts, presented the first Tuesday of each month, showcase the talent of the University of Evansville music faculty (and occasionally students) as they perform works from seldom-heard masterpieces to beloved standards.

For more information, please contact the University of Evansville Department of Music at 812-488-2754 or visit the department’s concert calendar.

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