Thursday, January 8, 2009

2/10/2009 @ 6:15 p.m. : Mu Phi Epsilon Student Recital

University of North Florida students from the Delta Eta Chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon Music Honor Fraternity will present a recital featuring pianists, vocalists, and instrumentalists from their chapter. This recital is free and open to the public.
About Mu Phi Epsilon
Mu Phi Epsilon is an International Professional Music Fraternity whose purposes are the recognition of scholarship and musicianship and the promotion of friendship. Its aims are the advancement of music throughout the world, the promotion of musicianship and scholarship, loyalty to the Alma Mater, and the development of a true bond of friendship. The Fraternity is composed of Collegiate Chapters, Alumni Chapters and Allied Members.
The History of Mu Phi Epsilon dates from November 13, 1903. Today, Mu Phi has 136 collegiate chapters including two in the Philippine Islands and one in Canada, 74 alumni chapters and more than 75,000 members.
Mu Phi Epsilon has several fraternity affiliations and is also a member of the National Interfraternity Music Council, the Professional Fraternity Association and the National Interfraternity Foundation.

Program Selections

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
  • Chris Fry, piano
  • Francesco Bartolomeo Conti (1681/2-1732)
    Il mio bel foco [previously attrib. to B. Marcello]
  • Barbee Monk, soprano
  • Jamar A. Woods, piano
  • Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941)
  • Hannah E. Sharron, flute
  • Chris Fry, piano
  • Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
    Donde lieta from “La Boheme
  • Elyse Matthews, soprano
  • Jamar A.Woods, piano
  • Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)
    Notturno, Op. 54, no. 4
  • Quinton Rhodes, piano
  • Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921)
    The Swan from “Carnival of Animals
  • Brittany Maroney, cello
  • Jamar A. Woods, piano
  • Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)
    Chi bel il sogno from “La Rondine
    Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
    Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne
    (O never sing to me again)

  • Angelique Perretta, soprano
  • Jamar A. Woods, piano

  • Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
    Deuxieme Annees de Pelerinage
    V. Sonnetto 104 del Petrarca
  • Jamar A. Woods, piano

  • Stephen Yarbrough (b. 1946)
  • Anna Wilson, cello
  • Jamar A. Woods, piano
  • Richard Rodgers (1902-1979)
    My Funny Valentine from “Babes in Arms
  • Leelynn Osborn, tenor
  • Jamar A. Woods, piano
  • Jarell Harris, alto saxophone
  • Alec Degnats, drums

    Alec Degnats
    Before moving to Jacksonville in 2008 from his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia, drummer Alec Degnats was a member of The Pine Room Jazz Band, the Underground Jazz Band, and Atlanta Youth Jazz Orchestra. Now a sophomore in the Jazz Studies program at the University of North Florida, Alec is a student of the great jazz drummer Danny Gottlieb and a member of the band REDlight. In addition to music Alec is studying philosophy.
    Christopher Fry
    Jacksonville native Christopher Fry began studying piano at age three with a local Suzuki Talent studio. A graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, he earned the school's Seal of Arts and was inducted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society. After high school Chris began teaching elementary and intermediate level piano students, and at UNF he studies with Dr. Sandra Stewart, majoring in classical piano with a focus in piano pedagogy. Building upon his experience and professional training, Mr. Fry plans to expand his private piano studio. Chris joined Mu Phi Epsilon in 2008, and was invited to perform at their international convention; he is now President of UNF’s Delta Eta Chapter.

    Jarrel Harris
    Jarell Harris, a sophomore at the University of North Florida studying with Prof. Bunky Green and Dr. Michael Bovenzi, has specialized in the alto saxophone since he was in middle school, but he also plays flute, clarinet, trumpet, piano, and percussion. During his freshman year Jarell was appointed Principal Alto Saxophone of the UNF Wind Ensemble and he performed in their Carnegie Hall debut on June 1, 2008, under the baton of Dr. Gordon Brock. The versatile Mr. Harris performs classical, jazz, smooth jazz, R&B, and gospel styles, and together with other UNF students has formed a band that plays for various University, corporate and private functions. In addition to teaching privately, Jarell is a teacher's assistant at Mayport Middle School and he participates in the music ministry at The Potter's House in Jacksonville.

    Brittany Maroney
    Cellist Brittany Maroney is a Scheidel Music Scholar at the University of North Florida working toward her Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance, and she is the Principal Cellist in the UNF String Ensemble and Orchestra. Ms. Maroney was Principal Cellist at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and she has played in the pit orchestra for a number of stage productions, including Honk, Cabaret, Trial by Jury, The Mikado, and Amahl and the Night Visitors. Her accomplished solo performances have included sharing the spotlight with her teacher, Dr. Nick Curry, for Vivaldi's Concerto for Two Cellos. After completing her undergraduate work, Brittany will pursue graduate studies and a career in music therapy.

    Elyse Matthews
    Soprano Elyse Matthews, is a Vocal Performance major at the University of North Florida. Originally from the northeast, Ms. Matthews moved to Florida in 1992 and has been actively involved in music throughout Jacksonville for more than seven years. She began vocal training at the age of 19 with Mark Shaw, and continued her studies at UNF with Marilyn Smart in her Freshman year, and Dr. Kandie Smith in her Sophomore year. Elyse is currently a student of Professor Kimberly Beasley, and in February 2008, she placed second in her category at the NATS North Florida Chapter Student Auditions. Ms. Matthews is a member of both the UNF Opera Ensemble under the leadership of Dr. Krzysztof Biernacki and the UNF Chorale under the direction of Dr. Cara Tasher. She served as Worship Arts Administrator at Christ the Redeemer Church from 2005 to 2007 under Rev. Dr. Steve Bowersox, and upon earning her Bachelor of Music Degree Elyse intends to pursue a career in opera, while continuing her interest in Worship Arts and working toward a graduate degree.

    Barbee Monk
    Barbee Monk, soprano, is a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Voice from the University of North Florida and a voice student of Prof. Kimberly Beasley. In March she will sing the role of "Hansel" in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the UNF Opera Ensemble under Dr. Krzyzstof Biernacki, and recently she appeared in UNF’s production of Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Barbee is an active member of the UNF Chorale under the direction of Dr. Cara Tasher, where she serves as Tour Coordinator and Section Leader, and she is a singer in the UNF Women’s Chorus. Ms. Monk is also a member of the UNF Chamber Singers, with whom she performed Monteverdi’s Vespers (1610) as a soprano soloist. Barbee is the Corresponding Secretary for the Delta Eta chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon International Professional Music Fraternity. Upon receiving her B.M., Barbee plans to attend graduate school and pursue a career in choral music.

    Leelynn Osborn
    Hailing from Atlantic Beach, Florida, Leelynn Osborn is a singer, actor and ballroom dancer. Formerly a voice major at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where he excelled in classical music and music theater, Leelynn is expanding his talents and studying jazz at the University of North Florida. In addition to his studies, performing with UNF Chamber Singers, and his local singing engagements, Leelynn served on the Host Committee for the 2008 Mu Phi Epsilon International Convention.

    Angelique Perretta
    Angelique A. Perretta, soprano, is a Senior Voice Performance major at UNF. As a member of the UNF Opera Ensemble Ms. Perretta recreated the title role of Puccini's Suor Angelica, "The Mother" in Gian Carlo Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, and both "Dido" and "Second Witch" in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. Angelique has been involved in local theater and music productions since the age of 12, with roles including "Helen O’Toole" in Fred Carmichael’s farce Exit the Body, and "Piti-Sing" in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado. Her oratorio repertoire includes Rutter’s Requiem, Bach’s St. Matthew’s Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah and Faure’s Requiem. Angelique is a student of Dr. Krzysztof Biernacki, and has participated in Master classes with renowned author and pedagogue Richard Miller of Oberlin Conservatory, international opera star Sherrill Milnes, and former Orlando Lyric Opera Director Robert Swedberg.

    Quinton Rhodes
    After retiring from 30 years with the Federal Government, pianist and composer Quinton Rhodes is expanding his musical skills and working toward a Bachelor of Arts in Music, studying piano with Dr. Sandra Stewart and composition with Dr. Gary Smart at the University of North Florida. Mr. Rhodes' forte is composition and theory, and he aspires to compose educational music for young people, as well as sacred music for the Church. He sings tenor in the UNF Chorale and is employed as a church musician at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Quinton is honored to be a member of Mu Phi Epsilon and excited to be performing at the Library.

    Hannah Sharron
    Originally from Pensacola, Florida, Hannah E. Sharron, is in her sophomore year at the University of North Florida studying flute as a Music Performance major. In 2008, Hannah performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall with the UNF Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Gordon Brock. She was initiated as a member of Mu Phi Epsilon at the fraternity's 2008 International Convention, for which she also served as a member of the Host Convention Committee.

    Anna Wilson
    Cellist Anna Wilson is a sophomore Music Performance major and a Scheidel Classical Music Scholar at UNF. A student of Dr. Nick Curry, Anna performs with the UNF String Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Simon Shiao, and she is Assitant Principal Cello in the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Ms. Wilson is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and an alumna of the studio of Vernon Humbert, a cellist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia. She also studied with Paul York, from the University of Louisville, while attending the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee. Anna recently was elected Historian of UNF's Mu Phi Epsilon chapter.

    Jamar A. Woods
    Pianist and composer Jamar A. Woods is working towards his Bachelor's Degree in Arts Education with an emphasis in Music, and the emphasis seems particularly strong. In addition to his coursework, "Jammer" performs with the UNF Wind Ensemble, sings in a barbershop quartet and chorus, is much in demand as an accompanist, and is a church musician at Fleming Island United Methodist Church. Plus, this son of Crestview, Florida, is a ballroom dancer. After a recent local concert performance, Don Westwood, a Friday Musicale Board Member with 35 years experience working in classical music, predicted of Mr. Woods, "He is someone I think not just Jacksonville but the world will hear from."

    PROGRAM NOTES & translations by Ed Lein, Music Librarian
    Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was a Norwegian composer and virtuoso pianist best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor and the incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, but it is with his Lyriske stykker (Lyric Pieces) for piano solo that Grieg perhaps shows his originality most convincingly. These 66 short works were composed between 1864 and 1901 and published in 10 separate volumes. Among them, Wedding Day at Troldhaugen (1896) is one of the most famous. The titular “Troldaugen” (literally, “Troll’s Hill”) is the name of Grieg’s house in Bergen, and the piece is said to be a recollection of the composer’s 25th wedding anniversary celebration held there in 1892. Another favorite Lyric Piece is the hauntingly beautiful and evocative Notturno, published in 1891, which, in addition to capturing the essence of a moonlit evening, provides an effective study in two-against-three cross rhythms.

    Although Il mio bel foco has long been attributed to Venetian composer and statesman Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739), recent scholarship now identifies the Florentine Francesco Bartolomeo Conti (1681?-1732) as the likely composer of this lovely song. The confusion arose with the misattribution first given in the 1890 publication, Arie antiche, compiled and arranged by Alessandro Parisotti (1853-1913), and reedited and published in this country by G. Schirmer as 24 Italian Songs and Arias—virtually every classically-trained singer has performed at least a couple of selections from this famous set. Parisotti took the old Italian melodies, but wrote new accompaniments according to Victorian fashion, and in some cases he deliberately identified his own compositions as “newly-discovered” works of baroque masters. In fact, there is still debate as to whether the recitative that begins Il mio bel foco is by Conti, Parisotti, or even by another 19th Century musician, Carl Banck! Regardless, the controversy surrounding Il mio bel foco does not diminish the emotional impact of the oft-sung song.

    In 1919 at age forty, the French flutist, conductor and composer Philippe Gaubert (1879-1941) became one of the most prominent musicians in France by earning three important appointments almost simultaneously: Professor of Flute at the Conservatoire de Paris, and Principal Conductor of both the Paris Opéra and the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. Gaubert composed a wide variety of instrumental, orchestral and vocal music, plus two operas, and it is not surprising that many of his most effective compositions are for flute. Gaubert’s Madrigal for flute and piano (1908) demonstrates the composer’s affinity with Franck and Fauré.

    Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) came from a long line of Italian church musicians, and it was assumed he’d inherit the “family business” in Tuscany. But a fateful trek from Lucca to Pisa to see Verdi’s Aïda convinced Puccini to give up organ pedals for footlights, and he became the only real successor of Verdi in the realm of Italian opera. When Puccini died of throat cancer the whole of Italy went into mourning, and no opera composer since has enjoyed the same kind of sustained international following that he still has. Puccini’s La bohème (1896), one of the most frequently staged operas in the repertoire, relates the tragic story of Parisians “Mimì,” a struggling seamstress, and “Rodolfo,” a struggling artist, and their on-again off-again relationship. In Mimì’s 3rd Act aria, Donde lieta, the consumptive heroine resigns herself to the notion that it might be best if they separated amicably, alluding to souvenirs of happier times. (But by the end of the scene they decide not to part until spring—who could be sad then, when the world is in bloom?)
    Puccini’s one foray into operetta has had less success, but for La rondine (“The Swallow”) Puccini created one of his most memorably soaring arias. In context, Chi bel il sogno di Doretta (“Doretta's beautiful dream”) is a newly composed song introduced at a cocktail party by “Prunier,” a poet and composer. But he has no ending for his song, so he invites “Magda,” a demimondaine who harbors her own romantic dreams, to join him at the piano to make up an ending. Magda’s contribution becomes one of those tunes you can’t get out of your head (despite being almost impossible to sing), so one might assume that the song became a hit!

    By the age of three, the French composer and keyboard virtuoso Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) could read and write and had penned his first piano piece; by seven he had mastered Latin; and by ten he could perform from memory all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas upon request. An expert mathematician and a successful playwright, he published poetry, scholarly works in acoustics and philosophy, and popular travelogues. He was a confidant of Berlioz, Liszt, and Fauré (his most famous student), and a notorious enemy of Franck, Massenet, and especially of Debussy. Although first performed in 1886, Saint-Saëns withheld from publication all but Le cygne (“The Swan”) from The Carnival of the Animals until after his death because he felt that the overall comic tone of the suite would diminish his standing as a “serious” composer. Ironically, the imagination and wit on display in The Carnival have kept it at the top of the dozen or so of his works (out of over 300!) that are still performed with any regularity, and The Swan, an obvious favorite of cellists, is performed even more frequently on its own.

    The lush harmonies and sweeping melodies that characterize the orchestral music of Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) assure him a continuing place in the world’s concert halls. Astonishingly, Rachmaninoff had what might be called a “phonographic” memory in that, upon hearing virtually any piece, he could play it back at the piano, even years later—and if he really liked the piece it would sound like a polished performance! Although his songs are not nearly as well known as his solo piano music and concertos, Rachmaninoff’s melodic talent was perfectly suited to vocal music, and he composed songs throughout his career. The six songs of Rachmaninoff’s Opus 4 are student works dating from 1890-93, but this is around the same time as the famous Prelude in C# minor, Op. 3, so elements of his mature style are already in play.
    Ne poy, krasavitsa, pri mne (Do not Sing for Me) (1892)
    Text by Aleksander Pushkin (1799-1837)

    Hungarian-born Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is widely regarded to as the greatest pianist of all time, and his performances excited an hysteria that today is reserved for only the most popular of rock stars. Despite great fame following a sometimes impoverished youth, Liszt remained unspoiled and donated great sums of his concert earnings to a wide variety of charitable causes, and in later life he even took orders in the church. His generosity extended to helping increase the fortunes of struggling musicians, among them Hector Berlioz and Liszt’s future son-in-law, Richard Wagner. An innovative composer, Liszt is credited with creating the symphonic tone poem as a form, developing the technique of thematic transformation, and he even anticipated some of the harmonic devices of Impressionist composers. Naturally, piano music is central to his output, and he was equally gifted in writing introspective poetical works and extroverted virtuoso pieces. Liszt’s Sonnet 104 of Petrarch combines both aspects of his musical personality. The fifth piece in Years of Pilgrimage, 2nd Year: Italy, it started out as song setting of Petrarch’s poem, and it ably reflects the unsettled and conflicted feelings expressed in the verse.

    American composer Stephen Yarbrough (b.1946) has been teaching music at the University of South Dakota since 1982, following a stint as a flutist and arranger for the United States Air Force Academy Band. The winner of numerous national composition awards and grants, Dr. Yarbrough writes for a wide variety of vocal and instrumental combinations, ranging from solo vocal and choral pieces to chamber music and works for orchestra and symphonic band. Heartsong, inspired by Bible verses Luke 4:18-19, is performed by cello and piano on a CD of the composer’s “17 most requested works,” but the piece was also published in 1987 as a solo for hand bells and piano!

    Composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) wrote over 900 songs and his collaborative work with different lyricists, mainly Lorenz Hart (1895-1943) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960), pretty much defined the Broadway musical for four decades. The Rodgers & Hart showtune My Funny Valentine originated in the 1937 musical Babes in Arms, and it has since become a jazz and pop standard, reportedly appearing on more than 1300 albums recorded by over 600 artists.

    Notes ©2009, Edward Lein -- Please attribute if quoting.