Renowned Composer to Help with Major Choral Concert at Mansfield University

MANSFIELD, PA— Samuel Adler, award-winning professor of composition at Julliard School of Music, will be in residence at Mansfield University April 12-14 to help the Festival Chorus prepare to perform this spring’s major choral works.

While at MU, Adler will also be working with student groups, giving composition lessons, and giving lectures about his music and many experiences from his long and distinguished career.

He will give a talk about his music on Thursday, April 12, 1:30 p.m. at Butler Music Center, Room 163.

Thursday at 8 p.m. in Steadman Theatre, there will be a concert of the composer’s chamber pieces and his one-act opera, The Outlaw of Poker Flats, performed by the Mansfield University Opera Workshop, directed by Todd Ranney.

The opera is based on the short story written by renowned Western author Bret Harte. Also on the program will be A Prophecy of Peace performed by the Mansfield University Chamber Singers, under the direction of Peggy Dettwiler, and Oboration, a solo oboe piece performed by Susan Laib.

The program will also include Madrigals performed by the Mansfield University Flute Choir, directed by Christine Moulton,Meadowmountetudes for solo violin, performed by Kenneth Sarch, and Pensive Soliloquy, performed by Joseph Murphy on alto saxophone and pianist Nancy Boston.

Thursday’s talk and concert are both free and open to the public.

Under the direction of Peggy Dettwiler, the Festival Chorus of 110 voices and orchestra will perform Mozart’s Requiem and the final movement of Samuel Adler’s Transfiguration: An Ecumenical Mass on Saturday, April 14 at 8 p.m. and on Sunday, April 15 at 3 p.m. in Steadman Theatre.

“For a choir to be able to work directly with a composer is a rare treat and also an important part of their education as vocalists and future choral directors,” Dettwiler said. “It’s also important to expose students to contemporary compositions, and Adler’s promotion of new American music is unmatched.”

Adler’s visit was arranged by Andrew Walters, professor of music theory and history, as a part of the composer in residence annual series at Mansfield.

Samuel Adler was born in 1928 in Mannheim, Germany and came to the U.S in 1939. He holds degrees from Boston University and Harvard University, as well as four honorary doctorates from other academic institutions.

Adler served on the faculty of North Texas State University (1957-66) and the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester (1966-94) and is currently teaching composition at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.

Having composed more than 400 works, Adler is one of the most creative musicians of his time. His compositions are performed by major symphonic, choral, and chamber ensembles in the U.S. and abroad. He has received many grants and awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Fellowship, Charles Ives Award, Lillian Fairchild Award, Koussevitsky Foundation, Barlow Foundation, and Deems Taylor Award for his book Orchestration. Adler was inducted into the National Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

In 1953, Adler received was the Army Medal of Honor from General, and future President, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Upon being drafted the day after graduating from Harvard, Adler founded the Seventh Army Symphony, an ensemble of enlisted American soldiers collaborating with European musicians. Despite the hurdles of suspicious, jealous factions (both cultural and musical), and the difficulty of running a professional orchestra in the midst of the U.S. Army, the symphony turned out to be a significant factor in cultural diplomacy immediately following World War II.

The Mansfield University Faculty Brass Quintet has reunited for Adler’s Transfiguration, of which they and the Festival Chorus will perform the “Agnus dei with Grant us peace,” the last movement and a fitting conclusion to the Requiem program.

The quintet is comprised of Michael Galloway on trumpet, Rebecca Dodson-Webster on French horn, Steven McEuen on trombone and Nathan Rinnert on tuba.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $5 for students and children. They can be purchased on-line atmusic.mansfield.edu or by calling (570)662-4710. Tickets will also be available at the door. MU students will be admitted free with ID.

For more information about the performance, contact Dettwiler at (570) 662-4721 or pdettwil@mansfield.edu

The concert is supported in part by student activity fees.


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