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UK Men's Chorus, Women's Choir Spring into Concert

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 4:22pm

 

UK Women's Choir singing "Pie Jesu" at Ely Cathedral. A transcription of this video can be found here

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 25, 2015) — As the University of Kentucky's Women’s Choir prepares for their summer tour to Spain and the Men’s Chorus returns to their home stage fresh off their heralded performance at the American Choral Director’s Association National Convention in Salt Lake City, the ensembles will come together in a concert of mutual commendation and celebration. The UK Women's Choir and Men's Chorus Spring Concert will begin 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the Singletary Center for the Arts.

 

"Gaudete" performed by the UK Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of American Choral Directors Association. A transcript of this video can be seen here.

 

At the spring concert, the UK Men’s Chorus will perform a variety of works including the medieval Irish chant “Christus Resurgens,” Richard Burchard’s “Tenebrae” and guest conductor and UK doctoral candidate J.D. Frizzell’s composition “i thank you God for most this amazing day” based on a poem by E. E. Cummings. A composer, conductor and baritone, Frizzell is the director of Fine Arts and director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest Christian School.

 

The concert will also include selections sung by the UK Women’s Choir from Spanish composers to celebrate their trip to Spain in June 2015. Among the works to be performed will be “Gloria” by Ola Gjeilo and “O Magnum Mysterium” by Tomás Luis de Victoria.

 

In addition to the Men’s Chorus and Women’s Choir, the a cappella groups acoUstiKats and Paws and Listen will also perform.

 

The UK Women’s Choir, directed by Lori Hetzel, is a select ensemble composed of more than 100 of the school’s most talented female voices. The singers, ranging from freshmen to graduate students, represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature spanning from Gregorian chant to eight-part music of the 21st Century. With an emphasis on music by female composers, the ensemble performs works of many different languages and compositional forms. The UK Women’s Choir has achieved many distinguished honors and performed in countless venues worldwide.

 

The UK Men’s Chorus, directed by Jefferson Johnson, is a 90-voice ensemble composed of students who range from freshmen to graduate students. The young men represent a variety of musical backgrounds and academic disciplines. Founded in fall 2002, the Men’s Chorus has grown in size and popularity each semester. The choir’s challenging and diverse repertoire includes literature that spans from Gregorian chant to music of the 21st century. Rehearsing only twice weekly, the Men’s Chorus maintains an active performing schedule throughout the state of Kentucky, touring each semester.

 

Tickets for the UK Women's Choir and UK Men's Chorus Spring Concert are $10 for general admission. The tickets may be purchased via the Singletary Center ticket office online, by phone at 859-257-4929, or in person at the ticket office.

 

UK Choirs are a part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The choral ensembles have garnered international attention with appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome, Italy) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna, Austria). 

 

For more information on the concert, contact Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant for UK Choirs, at evan.pulliam@uky.edu.             

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Vocalist Reginald Smith Jr. Winner at Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:51am

 

 

 

 

 

"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) – University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. has taken one of the five winning spots in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against eight other vocalists in the grand finals concert March 22 at the Metropolitan Opera. Smith is the second UK vocalist to win the prestigious opera competition.

 

"I am so proud of Reggie. It couldn't have happened to a kinder person," said Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. "Reggie has worked hard his entire young career. He was an incredible citizen in our program when he matriculated at the University of Kentucky and it's wonderful to see all of that hard work paying off. This is a great day for the University of Kentucky, the College of Fine Arts and for the UK Opera Program. It also speaks to the quality of the comprehensive training that the students are receiving in the UK School of Music. I couldn't be prouder of all of our students and faculty."

 

As part of the finals, Smith, a baritone, performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi. He advanced to the semifinals and finals at the Met out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.

 

A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar where he studied under McCorvey. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

Tenor and UK Artist-in-Residence Gregory Turay was the first UK vocalist to be named a winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1995.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

Classical Superstar Joshua Bell to Perform With UK Orchestra

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 2:00pm

 

Joshua Bell performs "The Four Seasons" Summer III. Presto by Antonio Vivaldi.

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — Classical aficionados will not want to miss celebrated violinist Joshua Bell as he joins Maestro John Nardolillo and the acclaimed University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra in concert at the Singletary Center for the Arts. Bell will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3.

 

Often referred to as the "poet of the violin," Bell is one of the world's most famous violinists. He continues to enchant audiences with his breathtaking virtuosity, tone of sheer beauty, and charismatic stage presence. His restless curiosity, passion, universal appeal and multi-faceted musical interests have earned him the rare title of "classical music superstar."

 

Ticket prices range from $65-$85 for the public and are on sale now.  Tickets for UK students, faculty and staff are $45. Tickets to the concert can be purchased by calling the Singletary Center ticket office at 859-257-4929, visiting online at www.scfatickets.com, or in person at the venue. Processing fees will be added to purchase upon transaction.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Alum Takes Easter Oratorio on the Road

Fri, 03/20/2015 - 12:38am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 23, 2015) — When University of Kentucky alumnus Lorne Dechtenberg wrote his Easter oratorio, "King of Glory," in 2014, he hoped those who experienced the work in Lexington would enjoy it. As it turned out, not only did they enjoy it, but so did residents of other communities who began requesting performances as well. As a result, Dechtenberg and the Bluegrass Opera will present six performances of the work this Easter season in five different Kentucky towns.

 

The work tells the story of the crucifixion and resurrection through a musical journey that is designed to reach audiences on a visceral level, enabling them to experience the text in a new and vivid way. "It's like Handel's "Messiah" only it's meant for today's listeners instead of 18th-century ears," said Dechtenberg, who has been receiving praise for the work since its premiere last April.

 

The work features professional singers, auditioned from across a 200-mile swath of Kentucky (from Hodgenville to Hazard), with tight, colorful harmonies and warm, rich melodies that they hope will stay with listeners long after the performance ends.

 

Dechtenberg, who holds degrees from UK School of Music in composition and conducting, co-founded the Bluegrass Opera in 2008. In 2010, he and his "Honeymoon Symphony" were chronicled in the KET documentary "Composer at Work," an effort that brought together members of the Lexington Philharmonic, UK Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Community Orchestra for a premiere at UK's Singletary Center for the Arts

 

In addition to Dechtenberg, "King of Glory" will feature several performers with ties to UK, including alumni Gordon Earl Thomas, Kaymon Murrah and Dena Sullivan Smith, as well as staff member Mike Bratcher, of UK HealthCare Information Technology.

 

"King of Glory" will be presented:

· 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28, at Actors’ Playhouse of Georgetown;

· 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Immanuel Baptist Church, in Lexington; 

· 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at Union Church, in Berea; 

· 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 30, at First Christian Church, in Frankfort;

· 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, at First Baptist Church, in Richmond; and 

· 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 3, at Lexington Seventh Day Adventist Church.

 

Tickets for "King of Glory" are $20 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID, and kids 12 and under get in free. Tickets can be ordered online at www.bluegrassopera.org or by phone at 859-940-9379.

 

The Bluegrass Opera is a nonprofit performing arts company that specializes in the performance of new and underperformed musical works for the stage – operas, musicals, and everything in between. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Vocalist Advances to Finals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 1:32pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 19, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumnus Reginald Smith Jr. is one of nine vocalists who has advanced to the finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions after competing against 17 semifinalists March 15 at the Metropolitan Opera. He will vie to win the competition performing with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi, this weekend in the grand finals concert 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22.

 

 

"A Woman is a Sometime Thing" performed by Reginald Smith Jr. in UK Opera Theatre's production of "Porgy and Bess." Video courtesy of Smith. A transcript for this video can be found here.

 

Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UK Opera Theatre as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. He studied under Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

Among Smith's competitors in the semifinals was bass and UK student Matthew Turner, who took first place at the regional in Lexington and also studies with McCorvey, as well as Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Voices in Harmony Brings to UK Three of Nation's Best A Capella Groups

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 2:51pm

 

 

The House Jacks in concert with a special appearance by Voices of Legend High School Choir. 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2015) — Voices in Harmony, a two-day a cappella festival, will culminate with a public concert featuring some of the best a cappella acts in the nation including The House Jacks, Musae and University of Kentucky's own Acoustikats, national finalists on NBC's "The Sing Off" in 2013. The concert, presented by the UK Choirs in association with the A Cappella Educators Association, will begin 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.  

 

The fifth annual Voices in Harmony A Cappella Festival is making its UK debut after starting at Lexington Catholic High School. The festival has grown each year and has supported the formation and growth of dozens of a cappella groups across the region.

 

This year more 300 participants from more than 20 local and regional middle schools, high schools, universities and community choirs will experience thrilling performance, dynamic clinics and engaging educational workshops.

 

A high school group competition will be held as part of the festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 13, at Lexington Catholic High School, and will include performances by UK Acoustikats and Paws and Listen, UK's popular female a cappella group.  

 

The House Jacks is known as “the original rock band without instruments” (San Francisco Chronicle) that creates powerful original music using only their five voices. The band’s vocal innovations laid the groundwork for the current a cappella renaissance, and their music can be heard in the movie “Pitch Perfect,” on the television show “The Sing Off” (U.S., China, Netherlands and France) and on radio stations around the world. The House Jacks continue to electrify audiences with their pioneering sound, powerful original songs, dynamic versions of popular songs and their incomparable “Human Jukebox,” a popular part of their act where they take requests from the audience. 

 

 

Musae singing "Electric Lady" O.P.B. Janelle Monae at the Hong Kong A Cappella Dinner 2014.

 

Founded in 2011, Musae has gained acclaim performing at a cappella festivals across the nation. As a powerhouse all-female vocal band, Musae shares a fresh and fun sound while playing on their sense of femininity and womanhood. True to the original Latin, these “muses” seek not to just inspire but also breathe new life into the professional vocal scene in the U.S. and abroad. Most of their singers have been prominently featured in groups on NBC’s “The Sing Off.”

 

Founded in 1993, by Jefferson Johnson as a subsection of the UK Men’s Chorus, the acoUstiKats are the premier all-male a cappella ensemble in the state of Kentucky. Following their success on “The Sing-Off,” the Acoustikats decided to form a professional vocal band following in the footsteps of notable all-male groups like Straight No Chaser and they have performed in countless venues across the U.S. The professional group features current UK students and alumni from the ensemble.

 

Tickets for the Voices in Harmony concert featuring The House Jacks, Musae and the Acoustikats range from $15-25 with a discount for groups of 15 or more. To purchase tickets, contact the Singletary Center for the Arts box office online at www.scfaticket.com or call 859-257-4929. 

 

UK Choirs are a part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The choral ensembles have garnered international attention with appearances at Carnegie Hall (New York City), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Mormon Tabernacle (Salt Lake City), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome, Italy) and St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Vienna, Austria). 

 

For more information on the Voice in Harmony festivities, contact Adam Beeken, at ajbeeken@gmail.com, or visit online at www.voicesinharmony.net.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Shining a Light on Connections Between Worlds of Art and Science

Sun, 03/08/2015 - 11:29am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 9, 2015) — The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky is hosting "Looking for Light: Chemistry, Art, Story, and Song," the third annual event of the Math, Arts, and Sciences Coalition (M.A.S.C.). This free public event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the museum in the Singletary Center for the Arts, with a reception to follow.

 

The event explores the idea of interconnectedness between the arts and sciences and features a collaborative mixed media performance by vocalist and UK doctoral student Shareese Arnold, Lexington-based artist Marjorie Guyon, and Susan Odom, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at UK.


Odom will elaborate on her innovative research on energy collection and storage, and how light interacts with matter to create what we perceive as different colors. She will also explain some of the science that unifies art and music. Guyon and Arnold will work together to combine visual images and operatic arias to create a palpable landscape space with emotional resonance.

Arnold is currently in her second year of doctoral work at UK Opera Theatre on full scholarship. She performed the title singing roles of Suor Angelica in "Madama Butterfly," Donna Anna in "Don Giovanni," Bess in "Porgy and Bess" and The Sorceress in "Dido and Aeneas."  

Guyon has exhibited throughout the United States, with works displayed in public and private collections including International Paper, FedEx, Brown Foreman, Pfizer, Morris Museum of Art, UK HealthCare and The Keeneland Foundation. Her background in poetry and her experience in art-making has merged into what she calls "the Bigger Room," an idea of "place-making with a benevolent goal."

Odom's work at UK Department of Chemistry focuses on utilizing synthetic organic chemistry to create materials for energy collection and storage. This research involves the synthesis of organic compounds for incorporation in electrochemical energy storage systems, either as additives for life extension and improved safety or as the energy storage materials themselves. Applications of this research include lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and redox flow batteries for storage of solar and wind power.

 

The mission of the Art Museum at UK, part of the UK College of Fine Arts, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of art to enhance the quality of life for people of Kentucky through collecting, exhibiting, preserving and interpreting outstanding works of visual art from all cultures. Home to a collection of more than 4,500 objects including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints and sculpture, the Art Museum at UK presents both special exhibitions and shows of work from its permanent collection. 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu
 

UK Alumna Receives Fellowship With Civic Orchestra of Chicago

Thu, 03/05/2015 - 10:21am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2015) — University of Kentucky alumna and French horn player Melanie Erena is continuing her successful music career as the recipient of a two-year fellowship awarded by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. As part of the fellowship program, Erena will occasionally be called upon to play in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as receive mentorship from orchestra members along the way.

 

Before arriving at the UK School of Music, Erena attended Lafayette High School and took horn lessons from Joanne Filkins, director of UK School of Music Student Affairs. Upon completion of her high school degree, the musician chose to continue her studies at UK where she studied with David Elliott, associate professor of French horn. In 2010, Erena was one of three winners of the UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition giving her the prestigious opportunity to perform a solo with the orchestra. She was also a recipient of the school's O. Helton Memorial Acres Scholarship, which recognizes the accomplishments of an outstanding member of the school and music body.

 

Erena graduated summa cum laude from UK in December 2011 with bachelor's degrees in music performance and music education and a 4.0 GPA. She then attended Northwestern University, where she received a master's degree in performance and studied with Gail Williams, a former co-principal hornist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

 

As a talented musician, Erena has traveled internationally to perform in places such as Canada, Europe and China. She has also performed in many famous venues in the United States including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center and Cleveland's Severance Hall.

 

The Civic Orchestra is regarded as one of the most respected music training programs for emerging musicians in the United States. Through the direction of Principal Conductor Cliff Colnot, musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Ricardo Muti and the many guest artists who perform at the Symphony Center each season, Civic has become one of Chicago's greatest cultural and educational resources.

 

The Civic Orchestra is well-known for serving the Chicago community by presenting free, high quality concerts at Symphony Center as well as free, interactive chamber music performances in schools and community locations throughout the city. Additionally, the Civic Orchestra is a signature program of the Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The institute works hard to offer pathways for both musicians and audiences to develop as citizens musicians by promoting the power of music to create connections and build community.

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

'Tales of Hoffmann' Comes to Stage With Vocal Fireworks

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 2:38pm

 

 

Promo for "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2015) — If you adore sword fights, sopranos with high, high notes, mezzos in pants, sexy courtesans, evil villains and great death scenes (there are several)…you must see University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s "The Tales of Hoffmann" running March 5-8, at the Lexington Opera House.

 

Paris was the place to be between 1852 and 1870. Plays and operettas mixed lavish settings and sensual themes with political and social satire. Wealthy men from high society were often seen at opening nights with actresses, young dancers and elegant courtesans on their arms.

 

Jacques Offenbach embodied the spirit of this era, in his opera, "The Tales of Hoffmann." This opera (sung in French with English supertitles) is based on the stories by the German romantic E.T.A. Hoffmann, who appears as the main character. He pursues three doomed loves while his muse, disguised as an old friend, tries to persuade him to devote himself to his art. Each act has a villain to hiss at and beautiful arias to enjoy. Some of the music will be so familiar that you may leave the Opera House humming. Hoffmann dons a pair of magical glasses which turns his reality into something dreamlike.

 

Gabrielle Barker, UK senior, gives a reading and then a performance of the "Doll Aria" from "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre.

 

Hoffmann is sung by tenors, Gregory Turay, alumnus and artist-in-residence, and Jonathan Parham, a graduate student studying with Everett McCorvey, director of UK Opera Theatre. All the principal roles are double cast with UK Opera Theatre’s award-winning singers, including Wanessa Campelo and Holly Nicole Dodson as Nicklausse/The Muse; Gabrielle Barker and Mary Catherine Wright as Olympia; Whitney Myers and Brittany Jones as Giulietta; and Ashley Jackson and Dianna Vetter as Antonia. The casts perform on alternate days, March 5 – 8.

 

Andrew Miller, UK senior, gives a reading and then a performance of  "Jour et nuit" from "The Tales of Hoffmann." Video courtesy of UK Opera Theatre. 

 

Members of the UK Symphony Orchestra bring the beautiful melodies of this opera to life, under the baton of Maestro John Nardolillo. UK Opera Theatre is honored to have as guest director, David Lefkowich, who has worked in major opera houses around the world. Lefkowich and Turay last worked together in the premiere of Julie Taymor’s "The Magic Flute" at the Metropolitan Opera. They are delighted to work together again in this production in Lexington.

 

"The Tales of Hoffmann" will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 5-7, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8. Tickets range from $38.40 to $54.75 based on location of seating. To purchase tickets, contact the Lexington Center box office – in person, by calling 859-233-3535 or visiting www.ticketmaster.com. Student ticket rates are available in person at Lexington Center box office only with a valid student ID.

 

UK Opera Theatre is one of a select group of U.S. opera training programs recommended by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. The Tucker Foundation is a nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to the support and advancement of the careers of talented American opera singers by bringing opera into the community and heightening appreciation for opera by supporting music education enrichment programs.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

Middle East Drum Specialist Joins UK Percussion Group

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:23pm

 

Duo 77 for two frame drums performered by Yousif Sheronick and guest artist Shane Shanahan. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 2, 2015) — Yousif Sheronick, a popular global percussionist, will serve as guest artist with the UK Percussion Group (UKPG) in a concert of Middle East music. This concert, which is free and open to the public, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Singletary Center For the Arts Recital Hall. 

 

Sheronick's concert will feature the artist with members of UKPG. These musicians are drawn from the UK Percussion Ensemble, internationally recognized for its excellence and innovative programming. UKPG, a smaller chamber group, performs demanding percussion literature written for economic forces.

 

Sheronick is a specialist on the frame drum, a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth. Frame drums are often constructed with a round, wooden frame. Metal rings or jingles may also be attached to the frame. The frame drum is one of the most ancient musical instruments; it is reputed to be the first drum to be invented and examples are found in cultures throughout the world.

 

Critics say Sheronick “is capable of creating hypnotic atmospheres” where he “transported the listener to another dimension.” Of Lebanese decent, he was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His first exposure to Arabic music came from his mother singing over the drone of the vacuum cleaner. As with many first generation Americans there was a separation between the house (Arabic) and the outside (American) world.

 

Sheronick has performed around the globe to critical acclaim, genre hopping with leading artists in the classical, world, jazz and rock music arenas. The New York Times hails him for his “dazzling improvisations” and his “wizardry on a range of humble frame drums.”

 

Influences on Sheronick's music are far reaching as he grew up playing a rock and roll drum set, studied classical percussion earning a master's degree at Yale University and went on to study music from Brazil, India, Africa and the Middle East. These combined influences propelled him into performances with Philip Glass, Yo-Yo Ma, Lark Quartet, Ethos Percussion Group, Branford Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Cindy Blackman Santana, Glen Velez and Paul Winter.

 

The Yousif Sheronick concert is sponsored by the College of Fine Arts, the School of Music, the UK Percussion Studies Program, and the College of Arts and Sciences and their Passport to the World Series: Year of the Middle East.

 

For more information on the UK Percussion Group concert, contact James Campbell, director of Percussion Studies at UK School of Music, at (859) 257-8187.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

 

UK Sophomore Recognized in Regional Woodwind Competition

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 5:29pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 27, 2015) — Sophomore bassoon major Jonathan Barrett was recognized at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Performance Competition held in January at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Barrett, who represented Kentucky in the competition, performed three pieces, including Alexander Tansman's Sonatine for bassoon and piano. His performance earned him an honorable mention honors.

 

“I've been playing bassoon for 8 years now and have been studying with Professor Peter Simpson for the last three,” Barrett said. “I want to thank all of my teachers over the years, my parents, friends and family, and especially Peter for helping me prepare for this competition, and my trusty accompanist, Tedrin Lindsay.”

 

Barrett has studied other instruments including clarinet, flute, bassoon, guitar and saxophone. He says that guitar was his first instrument but he has been playing the saxophone for nine years.

 

“Music is a life style,” Barrett said. “Growing up with discipline, passion, hard work and the joy of music has no doubt made me the person I am today”.

 

The MTNA's mission is to “support the careers and professionalism of teachers of music” for students like Jonathan Barrett. Each year, nine surrounding states send the winners from their own competition to the Southern Division Competition for an opportunity to be sent to nationals. Winners from the regional competitions go onto nationals, which is being held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The MTNA recognizes six Young Artist award winners in composition, brass, piano, string, voice and woodwind.  

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Orchestra to Showcase Concerto Competition Winner Pianist Yuri Kim

Tue, 02/24/2015 - 3:19pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 25, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of John Nardolillo, takes the stage this Friday with a variety of compositions that showcase the diverse talent of its own student musicians.

 

The concert will feature one of UK School of Music's own, Yuri Kim, winner of the UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, playing music by George Gershwin. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

 

Fresh off its dramatic live presentation of “2001: A Space Odyssey” with the UK Chorale, the orchestra will begin the concert with Gyorgy Ligeti’s “Atmosphères,” featured in the film. Next, the orchestra will back up Yuri Kim as she plays George Gershwin’s Concerto in F for piano and orchestra. The concert will conclude with German composer Robert Schumann’s uplifting Symphony No. 2.

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition presents a prestigious opportunity for UK music students to perform a solo concerto with the orchestra. Artistic excellence is the primary criterion, but students must also be fulltime music majors and prepare the entire concerto. A panel of judges composed of artists from outside UK reviews excerpts performed by each contestant and selects the top four to return and play their entire concerto. From these finalists, one to three winners are chosen to perform with the orchestra in the Concerto Competition Concert.

 

Yuri Kim, a native of South Korea, holds a master’s degree in piano performance from UK and a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from Campbellsville University, where she graduated with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award and was a member of the honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. Kim earned the certificate in piano pedagogy at Moscow's Tchaikovsky Conservatory. Regionally, she won the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Piano Competition in Kentucky and advanced to the Southern division. Kim is currently pursuing a doctorate in piano performance at UK School of Music, where she studies with Professor Irina Voro and serves as a teaching assistant in "Introductory Piano."

 

Founded in 1918, the UK Symphony Orchestra is regarded as one of the nation’s best college orchestras. The 100-member all-student orchestra presents more than 50 concerts each year including classical, chamber and education concerts. The group is made up of undergraduate and graduate students from across the United States, Asia, South America and Europe. The orchestra regularly performs with world-renowned concert artists including Itzhak Perlman, Sarah Chang, Gil Shaham, Mark O’Connor, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, Denyce Graves, Lang Lang, Ronan Tynan, Natasha Paremski and Arlo Guthrie. The orchestra performs in the concert hall at the Singletary Center for the Arts and on tour, including concerts at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2007 and 2010, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

 

The UK Symphony Orchestra also collaborates yearly with UK Opera Theatre and has recently presented "Porgy and Bess," "La Bohème," "Die Fledermaus," "Carmen," "La Traviata" and "Madama Butterfly." Over the last three years, they have also begun an active outreach program bringing classical music to all corners of the Commonwealth. To date, they have performed for more than 10,000 students as part of this new initiative. In addition to live performances, UK's orchestra is one of the only collegiate orchestra programs to record for with Naxos, the world’s largest classical music label.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Two UK Vocalists Advance to Semifinals of Metropolitan Opera Auditions

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 4:43pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2015) — The Mid-South Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions were held Saturday, Feb. 21, on University of Kentucky’s campus. Singers from Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, including three from UK, competed to advance to the semifinals to be held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera scheduled for March 15 in New York City. UK student Matthew Turner took first place at the regional in Lexington and will advance to the semifinals at the Met. Joining Turner in New York, will be another semifinalist from UK, Reginald Smith Jr., from the Southeastern Region Finals.

 

UK bass Matthew Turner appeared in the tile role of the fall 2014 UK Opera Theatre (UKOT) production “Sweeney Todd,” and will appear in the upcoming UKOT March production of “The Tales of Hoffmann.” A student of Everett McCorvey, director of UKOT and the Lexington Opera Society Endowed Chair in Opera Studies, and Dennis Bender, associate professor of voice, Turner received a cash prize of $4,200 from OperaLex, the host of the auditions, and an additional $800 from the Metropolitan Opera for the Mrs. Edgar Tobin First Place Award. A Lexington resident, he holds bachelor's degrees in accounting and vocal performance from UK.

 

Turner sang "Il lacerate spirito" from Giuseppe Verdi’s "Simon Boccanegra," "In diesen heil'gen Hallen" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s "Die Zauberflöte" and "Arise, ye subterranean winds" from Thomas Adès’ "The Tempest."

 

Smith, a baritone, advanced to the semifinals out of the Southeastern Region held in Atlanta, Georgia. A 2013 choral music education and vocal performance graduate of UK, Smith came to UKOT as an Alltech Vocal Scholar. Like Turner, he also studied under McCorvey at UK School of Music. Currently, Smith is in the young artist program at Houston Grand Opera.

 

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by a representative of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original language; selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.

 

The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.

 

The highly acclaimed UK Opera Theatre program is part of the UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. For more information on the program, visit online at http://finearts.uky.edu/music/ukot.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Men's Chorus to Present ACDA 'Send-Off' Concert

Fri, 02/20/2015 - 3:29pm

 

 

"Gaudete" performed by the UK Men's Chorus. Video courtesy of American Choral Directors Association. A transcript of this video can be seen here.

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 23, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Men’s Chorus is one of only two all-male collegiate groups who have been selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference being presented later this week in Salt Lake City. This evening, the 2015 UK Men’s Chorus will give audiences a free sneak preview of the national concert 7 p.m. tonight (Monday), Feb. 23, at the Singletary Center for the Arts before leaving for Utah.

 

Under the direction of Jefferson Johnson, director of Choral Activities at UK School of Music, the UK Men’s Chorus will perform at the prestigious ACDA National Conference on Feb. 26 alongside many of the world’s most revered choral musicians and conductors. The UK Men’s Chorus was one of only two all-male collegiate choirs selected to perform at this year’s ACDA conference with the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club being the second.

 

The ACDA “Send-Off” Concert will not only showcase several works commissioned specifically for the UK Men’s Chorus, but it will also highlight featured soloists Scott Wright, associate professor of clarinet, and guest vocalist Keith Dean, of the American Spiritual Ensemble.

 

Joining the UK Men’s Chorus for the “Send-Off” Concert will be special guests Lafayette High School Madrigal Singers, conducted by Ryan Marsh. The Lafayette Madrigal Singers have distinguished themselves as one of the top high school choirs in America.  They will be performing a reprise of the 30-minute program that they presented at the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) conference in Louisville on Feb. 5. 

 

The UK Men’s Chorus is a 90-voice ensemble composed of students from a variety of academic majors on campus. Last year they performed at the National Collegiate Choral Organization's (NCCO) National Convention in Charleston, South Carolina, and in 2012 at the ACDA Southern Division Convention in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They were also featured at the 2011 ACDA National Convention in Chicago, as well as at the 2010 Intercollegiate Male Choruses National Seminar in Miami, Ohio; the 2008 ACDA Southern Division Convention in Louisville; and the 2006 MENC National Conference in Salt Lake City. That same year the Men’s Chorus was featured at the inaugural NCCO National Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

 

As part of the ACDA National Conference, UK Men's Chorus will have performances at the prestigious Salt Lake City Tabernacle (home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and at Abravanel Hall (home of the Utah Symphony). The chorus recently commissioned and premiered new works by Richard Burchard, Michael Engelhardt and Stacey Gibbs.

 

Rehearsing twice weekly and touring frequently, the UK Men’s Chorus is dedicated to promoting and celebrating male singing at all stages and for all ages.

 

For more information on the ACDA Send-Off Concert or the UK Men’s Chorus, contact:

Evan Pulliam, administrative assistant of UK Choirs, evan.pulliam@uky.edu.

 

UK's Men's Chorus is part of UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK A Cappella Groups, Choristers to Warm Hearts at 'After Dark' and 'Night on Broadway'

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:27am

 

 

The Acoustikats peform "Back at One" by Brian McKnight. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 11, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Choirs present two February concerts that will set the mood for a romantic evening. A cappella groups Paws and Listen and the acoUstiKats present the popular annual "After Dark" Valentine's concert Feb. 13, at the Worsham Theatre. The following weekend UK Choristers will present their popular annual “Night on Broadway” concert of beloved show tunes Feb. 20 and 21. 

 

“After Dark” will be a night of music showcasing love for guests of all ages and includes a complimentary dessert reception immediately following the concert beginning 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at Worsham Theatre, located in the UK Student Center. The reception is courtesy of UK Catering  and the Office of the Student Center Director.

 

Paws and Listen is an a cappella singing group of 16 women who are auditioned from the UK Women’s Choir. The singers perform pop music, as well as a mix of doo-wop, vocal jazz and show tunes. Paws and Listen performs for numerous prestigious events throughout the year and is often featured at high profile events at Maxwell Place, the home of the UK President.

 

The acoUstiKats is a familiar name across campus because of the group's 2013 appearance on the a cappella competition show NBC’s "The Sing Off." The group is made up of 16 men who are auditioned from the UK Men’s Chorus. The ensemble specializes in doo-wop and a cappella pop styles. These students have performed at many events on campus and across the region.

 

If “After Dark” has audiences in the mood for more romantic tunes, they can enjoy another concert the following weekend at “Night on Broadway.” This night features beloved show tunes showcasing 50 student vocalists from the UK Choristers. This year’s theme is "An American Tradition." The show begins 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 20 and 21, at the Student Center Ballroom. Hors d’oeurves will be served before the concert beginning at 6:30 p.m.

 

UK Choristers is the oldest performing organization at UK. Filled with underclassmen and representing a wide variety of majors, the group frequently performs on and off of campus. This 55-voice mixed choir specializes in choral repertoire of all periods and styles, both a cappella and accompanied, and also performs a major work each year with the UK Symphony Orchestra. The Choristers tour frequently throughout the region.

 

Tickets for "Paws and Kats After Dark" are $10 for adults and $5 for UK students and children. Tickets for “Night on Broadway” are $25 for adults, $15 for UK faculty, staff and students, and $35 for VIPs, which includes courtesy parking pass for early ticket purchases. To purchase tickets, contact the UK Student Center Ticket Office at 859-257-TICS.

 

UK Choirs ensembles are housed at the UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Awarded Freeman Foundation Grant for Study of Arts, Culture of Inner Mongolia

Thu, 02/05/2015 - 11:23am

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 6, 2015) – The University of Kentucky's Office of China Initiatives and College of Fine Arts were recently awarded a Freeman Foundation grant, which will provide three faculty and 10 UK students with an opportunity to study the arts and culture of Inner Mongolia at Inner Mongolia University (IMU) during the fall semester of 2015. 

 

Dean Michael Tick at UK College of Fine Arts said he is excited to help offer this opportunity to UK students and faculty. "As our world’s cultures are brought together even faster and more forcefully, a global experience has proved an indispensable part of a student’s full college experience. This is the motivation behind our global learning partnership with Inner Mongolia University. We are thrilled to have the support of the Freeman Foundation for our visit to the campus of IMU this fall, where our students and faculty will work collaboratively on a number of projects with IMU’s renowned faculty and highly trained student body."

 

IMU is one of only three colleges that specialize in preserving the arts of minorities in China.

 

According to Huajing Maske, executive director of UK's Office of China Initiatives and director of the Confucius Institute, Inner Mongolia is one of the 56 minority groups in China, which is why it is so important to sustain Inner Mongolia’s artistic expression. 

 

Program directors will encourage students to gain appreciation and awareness of the ethnic group. Exact program dates have yet to be scheduled.

 

This program stems from the success of the “Living Landscapes” partnership among UK's Confucius Institute and College of Fine Arts and the Art College of IMU. The partnership began with a visit by a College of Fine Arts delegation to Inner Mongolia led by the Confucius Institute in 2012. "Living Landscapes" included 51 different fine art programs over a one week period in September 2013, which engaged thousands of participants from UK's campus and the community.

 

The Freeman Foundation helps make international connections in a world where China is playing an increasing economic and geopolitical role. 

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Kasman Piano Concert: A Family Affair

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 2:24pm

 

A clip of a piano recital featuring Yakov Kasman and his daughter, Aleksandra Kasman, in Orel, Russia. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2015) — It will be a family affair when the University of Kentucky School of Music presents a concert of not one, but two award-winning pianists, Yakov Kasman and Aleksandra Kasman. Yakov Kasman, a silver medalist in the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and his student and daughter, 19-year-old Aleksandra “Sasha” Kasman, a national winner of the National Federation of Music Club’s Stillman-Kelley Award, will perform 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

 

Yakov Kasman and Aleksandra Kasman will play a variety of compositions by Sergei Rachmaninov, with pieces such as Suite No. 1 (Fantaisie-Tableaux), Suite No. 2 and the Symphonic Dances, considered one of the most difficult and impressive pieces of music in the classical repertoire.

 

Yakov’s American debut in the Van Cliburn Competition was the culmination of several competition triumphs and tours in Europe and the Middle East, including prizes at the 1991 Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome, the 1991 London World Piano Competition, the 1992 Artur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv, and the 1995 International Prokofiev Competition at St. Petersburg.

 

Born in the city of Orel, near Moscow, Yakov began his piano studies at the age of 5. He graduated from the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and served on the faculty at the Music College of the Moscow Conservatory. He is now a professor of piano and artist-in-residence at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is actively involved in local, state and national music teachers’ organizations as a guest artist, teacher and adjudicator. His students are winners of regional, national and international competitions.

 

Sasha, a student of her father, is a sophomore at UAB and a University Honors Program student. Sasha is a silver medalist of the VII International Competition for Young Pianists presented in memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Kiev, Ukraine, and second place and Young Jury Award winner at the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition in Columbia, South Carolina. She made her European solo debut recital at Salle Cortot in Paris, France, in 2009. She has also given solo recitals in U.S., Ukraine, Russia and Japan. Her recent engagements include solo recitals in the United States and duo-piano performances with her father in Russia and South Korea. Recently she won the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist piano competition in state of Alabama and advanced to the Southern division in January 2015.

 

The UK School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

Guitarist Dieter Hennings Awarded New Music USA Grant

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 1:16pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 2, 2015) — Dieter Hennings, assistant professor of guitar in the University of Kentucky School of Music, has received one of 62 project grant awards from New Music USA. Hennings received support from New Music USA for Duo Damiana's debut recording, "Adventurous Repertoire for Flute and Guitar," in collaboration with flutist Molly Barth.

 

Hennings has been an assistant professor of music at UK since August 2009. He curates the UK International Guitar Series, which has brought some of the world's finest guitarists to Lexington. Hennings has also performed as a solo artist in concerts all across the world and has won first prize awards in several prestigious competitions. Some highlights of Hennings' 2014-2015 season include invitations to perform with the Oberlin New Music Ensemble, a performance of Claudio Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 at the Cincinnati Conservatory, a concert for the series "Guitarromania" in Agen, France, and performances with Duo Damiana at Oberlin College, Indiana State University, DePauw University, Baldin Wallace University, Vanderbilt University and many more.

 

Awards for New Music USA’s third round of project grants total $284,250 and support artistic work involving a wide range of new American music. The program recognizes and supports the multiple roles composers and contemporary music practitioners play in the artistic landscape and responds to the creative spirit of collaboration between artists from multiple disciplines. The 62 awarded projects include concerts and recordings as well as dance, film, theater, opera and more. All projects include contemporary music as an essential element.

 

Duo Damiana is focused on broadening the cutting-edge body of repertoire for flute and guitar. Composers featured in their repertoire include Chen Yi, David Lang, Hebert Vazquez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Shafer Mahoney, Jean-Michel Damase, Michael Fiday and Toru Takemitsu. Future plans for the duo include commissions and performances of works by Jesse Jones, Luca Cori, Marc Satterwhite and Scott Perkins.

 

In summer 2014, Duo Damiana mentored 97 young composers and numerous performers at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium and performed at the National Flute Association Convention in Chicago, Illinois. The 2014-15 season includes tours through Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois and Nevada. Past tours have taken Duo Damiana throughout the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest regions of the United States.

 

In response to feedback from artists who were surveyed last summer following the two inaugural rounds of the program, the third round grants included a special focus on requests of $3,000 and below. Approximately 65 percent of grants awarded were in this category.

Including the awards already announced, New Music USA's project grants program has now distributed $932,250 in support of 179 projects since its launch in October 2013. Of the new project grant awardees, 74 are first-time recipients of grants from New Music USA.

 

Awarded projects from all three rounds can be discovered, explored and followed at New Music USA's gallery of projects, which provides artists the ability to update their progress and interact with followers is an important promotional tool that extends the program’s service to artists beyond financial support. The overarching goal of project grants is to reach and aggregate the communities of new music enthusiasts, irrespective of genre preferences, and allow the public to discover new artistic work.

 

Ed Harsh, president and CEO of New Music USA, said, “We want to give artists money, but we want to give artists more than money. We want to give them a way to spread the experience of their work to a wide world of people eager to engage with it.”

 

New Music USA formed in November 2011 from the merger of the American Music Center and Meet the Composer with a mandate to increase the audience for new American music. In doing so, five of the legacy organizations’ grant making programs were consolidated based on two core convictions. First, that the best way to serve new music is to ask practitioners what they need rather than tell them what they should want. Second, that the process for requesting financial support should be simple and should help artists and audiences connect.

 

New Music USA advocates fostering the creation, dissemination and enjoyment of new American music through its magazine NewMusicBox and radio station Counterstream as well as in New Music USA's grant making, which distributes more than $1 million each year to the field.

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

UK Home to First Collegiate Presentation of Live Orchestration of '2001: A Space Odyssey'

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 3:59pm

 

Video by Jenny Wells/UK Public Relations and Marketing. 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 29, 2015) — This weekend the Singletary Center for the Arts and the University of Kentucky School of Music will make history in presenting a live orchestration of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary film, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” featuring the UK Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Nardolillo, and the UK Chorale, conducted by Jefferson Johnson. This will be the first-ever performance of the repertoire by a university orchestra and chorus. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, and 3 p.m. Sunday Feb. 1, in the Singletary Center Concert Hall.

 

Highly regarded as the most groundbreaking sci-fi movie of all time, "2001" is a masterpiece achievement of artistic innovation in cinema. Known for its astute integration of music in film, it features a score like none other. From the iconic first notes of Richard Strauss’ “Also Sprach Zarathustra” to the gentle drift of Johann Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz” and the dramatic tension of Gyorgy Ligeti’s contemporary compositions for orchestra and choir, the power and beauty of the score accompany breathtaking large-format scenes of outer space exploration to create an unforgettable journey “beyond the infinite.”

 

This program has been presented by an exclusive selection of the world’s greatest orchestras including the London Philharmonia Symphony, The New York Philharmonic, The Brussels Symphony, and the National Symphony. The UK Symphony Orchestra and UK Chorale have the prestigious honor of being the first university ensembles to perform this concert. 

 

"It will be a full orchestra on stage with a full chorus doing all of the sound effects and music from the movie score, and above the orchestra and chorus will be a full screen movie of '2001: A Space Odyssey' with special projectors and sound systems that we had to scour the United States to find. It's basically a technical feat for our hall to stage this show but our technical director, Tanya Harper, and our crew have figured it out and it's going to be pretty exciting," said Michael Grice, director of the Singletary Center.

 

UK's presentation of "2001" is the product of a successful partnership between Nardolillo and Grice. The pair began working together in 2008 to identify major artists and musical opportunities to highlight the talents of UK students with some of the world's best artists and programs.

 

The magnitude of these opportunities and being given the opportunity to be the first university ensemble to perform "2001" is not lost on the students. "That's where the pressure hits. Our parts are actually from the New York Phil, one of the top orchestras in the world. So now the pressure is on us to have the caliber of music that they do. That's an honor to be playing on parts that they performed with as a collegiate orchestra," said Nathan Williams, arts administration and music performance senior from Louisville, who plays the French horn.

 

While UK's students are used to playing and singing a myriad of masterpieces by the world's most celebrated conductors, "2001" stretches their musical muscles with the unearthly, unusual sounds evoking space travel.

 

To be prepared for such a different concert, UK Chorale had to develop its own rehearsal methods beyond just screening the film. "2001" calls for approximately 20 individual sounds from the vocalists performed in a group. In order to be ready to sing the notes given to them, members of UK Chorale practiced not only as a group but often individually with their smart phones and metronome apps that helped them properly time their individual parts.

 

"It's a wonderful experience. It has definitely helped us grow a lot as an ensemble and as individual musicians because it is very challenging music. It demands a lot of outside of class work and it is definitely a lot of ear training for all of us, so it is helping us become better musicians," said Laura Salyer, a December 2014 vocal performance graduate from Lexington.

 

Since Nardolillo took the conductor's podium of the UK Symphony Orchestra, it has enjoyed great success accumulating recording credits and sharing the stage with such acclaimed international artists as Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Marvin Hamlisch, as well as the Boston Pops. In addition to its own concerts, the orchestra provides accompaniment for much of the UK Opera Theatre season. UK Symphony Orchestra is one of a very select group of university orchestras under contract with Naxos, the world's largest classical recording label. To see the UK Symphony Orchestra's season brochure, visit http://finearts.uky.edu/sites/default/files/14-15_UKSO_layout.pdf.

 

The UK Chorale is the premier mixed choral ensemble at UK School of Music. The ensemble consists mostly of upperclassmen and graduate students. While the majority of singers are music majors, there are a number of other academic disciplines represented within the ensemble. The Chorale prides itself in performing a wide variety of choral literature from Renaissance to 21st Century.

 

Tickets prices range from $40 to $30 for the general public, and $20 for UK students, faculty and staff (all tickets subject to box office fees). Tickets can be purchased via the  Singletary Center Box Office by phone at 859-257-4929, online at www.SCFAtickets.com or in person.

 

A part of the UK College of Fine Arts, the Singletary Center for the Arts presents and hosts around 400 artistic, cultural and educational events annually for the university community, Lexington community, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

UK Students 'Explore Brass in Greece'

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 6:12pm

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 23, 2015) — Jason Dovel and 10 University of Kentucky students traveled to Greece over winter break to attend the Exploring Brass in Greece international musical festival. During the visit, the UK students performed in Thessaloniki and Leptokarya, Greece.

 

As part of the trip, which ran Jan. 2-10, UK students performed as the university's Brass Ensemble, and joined trumpet ensembles, horn choirs, low brass ensembles and large brass ensembles made up of participants from around the world.

 

Jason Dovel, assistant professor of trumpet in the UK School of Music, led a warm-up clinic, coached chamber ensembles and taught the seminar “Perspectives of Science in Modern Brass Pedagogy” while in Greece. Other educators on the trip included George Babarakos (artistic director), Vincent DiMartino (former UK and Centre College faculty member and international soloist), Jason Crafton (Virginia Tech), Mike Davison (University of Richmond), Alex Van Duuren (University of Tennessee), Rich Illman (Michigan State University), Gerassimos Ioannidis (Orpheon Conservatory of Athens), Judith Saxton (North Carolina School of the Arts) and Daniel Zehringer (Wright State University).

 

UK students stayed at the Poseidon Palace Hotel in Leptokarya but also visited Thessaloniki, Meteora, Dion, Vergina and other areas in northern Greece. The students in particular enjoyed their visit to Meteora, which is one of the largest and most important complexes of Greek Orthodox monasteries in Greece.

 

UK students who participated in the festival included: trombone player and music education sophomore James Alford, of Lexington; trumpet player and music performance freshman Morgan Bay, of Butler, Kentucky; trombone player and music performance junior Denver Coprade Pascua, of Frankfort, Kentucky; trumpet player and music performance sophomore Caden Holmes, of Hanson, Kentucky; trumpet player and music performance freshman William Lovan, of Lexington; French horn player and music education senior John Andrew Osborne, of Georgetown, Kentucky; trumpet player and music education junior Zachary Robinson, of Lexington; trumpet player and Spanish and music education senior Kathryn Safa, of Zionsville, Indiana; French horn player and music freshman Mya Scheib, of Lexington; and French horn junior and music performance senior Emily Wilson, of Lexington.

 

This trip to Greece was organized as a study abroad experience through UK Education Abroad, with help from Education Abroad staff Ben Vockery and Tony Ogden.

 

UK Education Abroad is the university's comprehensive resource for study abroad, research abroad, intern abroad, and other educational experiences worldwide. The office's goal is to provide academically sound international experiences that promote intercultural competence, disciplinary scholarship and foreign language acquisition for all students. 

 

The UK School of Music at UK College of Fine Arts has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, composition, and theory and music history.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, 859-257-8716; whitney.hale@uky.edu

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