Department of music presents fall music festival

The four-concert event features faculty and students as well as the Blue Ash Youth Symphony Orchestra | October 25, 2004

The department of music presents its annual fall music festival as a four-concert event beginning Wednesday, Oct. 27, and running through Sunday, Oct. 31. The festival showcases faculty and students from Xavier as well as the Blue Ash Youth Symphony Orchestra. Evening concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. while the Blue Ash Youth Symphony Orchestra concert on Sunday, Oct. 31, begins at 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday night’s performance features two faculty artists, Dona Buel and Sonya Szabo Reynolds, performing a set of pieces by Dvorak for piano four hands. Buel, an associate professor, is a member of the Xavier Piano Trio and has published articles on music interpretation and new approaches to teaching music appreciation. Reynold’s great grandfather, Bohumil Fidler, was a composer and personal friend of Antonin Dvorak. Reynolds edited the first English translation of Fidler’s My Life and Memories, which the Dvorak Society for Czech and Slavic Music is publishing in 2005.

The second half of the program features the chamber orchestra under the direction of Dale Swisher, who is in his 10th year as music director of the Blue Ash Youth Symphony Orchestra. Swisher also directs the Southeast Missouri State University Summer String Workshop and is on the faculty of the Stephen Foster Music Camp at Eastern Kentucky University.

The orchestra is playing pieces by Stamitz, Villa-Lobos and Schubert. Harriet Beebe, Xavier faculty artist, is performing in the Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 by Villa-Lobos. Beebe, a soprano, is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, has sung with the Cincinnati Opera, Memphis Opera, Fort Worth Opera and others, and is a frequent soloist in Greater Cincinnati.

Thursday evening begins with several student chamber ensembles playing music by Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart. The second half of the program spotlights the symphonic wind ensemble under the direction of Norman Parr. They are playing works by Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst.

Friday’s concert consists of a performance by the vocal chamber ensemble and concert choir, under the direction of Tom Merrill. The vocal chamber ensemble opens the program with J.S. Bach’s Cantata 150, Nach dir Herr, Verlanget mich. The second half of the program features the concert choir in a performance of Gian-Carlo Menotti’s The Unicorn, the Gorgon and the Manticore.

The final concert on Sunday, Oct. 31, presents spooky music played by the Blue Ash Youth Symphony Orchestra, under Swisher’s direction. The ensemble performs pieces by Verdi, Grieg, Gounod, Saint-Saens and others.

Patrons who attend Friday’s concert should be aware that the “Run Like Hell” race takes place at 7:00 p.m. and that Dana Avenue below Ledgewood and Victory Parkway is closed. Audience members are encouraged to enter campus from the north, and park in the “C” lots or at the Cintas Center.