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Salon Series opens with ‘Collage’ September 12

ISSUED: 29 August 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — The Shepherd University Music Department 2013-14 Salon Series opens on Thursday, September 12, at 8 p.m. with “Collage.” All series concerts are at 8 p.m. in the W.H. Shipley Recital Hall of the Frank Arts Center. Composer Dr. Kurtis Adams, assistant professor of music at Shepherd, presents an evening of original jazz compositions from his latest CD of the same title. Quirky and full of energy, his compositions and improvisations take the listener through unexpected twists and turns. Pianist Dr. Mark Cook, associate professor of music and director of jazz studies, bassist Dave Marsh, and drummer Ronnie Shaw, both adjunct professors of music, join saxophonist Adams.

Dr. Yu-Hsuan Liao, pianist and assistant professor of music, and saxophonist Jeremy Kock join forces for the recital “Arresting Developments,” on Thursday, October 10. This program examines works influenced by a variety of genres and redeveloped into a representation of the source material, including a Balinese gamelan, a romantic Canzone, a pit orchestra, and a Zappa-esque rock jam. It is the story of a jealous saxophone that had little repertoire and how it stole from composers worldwide to make its music more interesting.

Soprano Natalie Conte, adjunct professor of music, with Dr. David Gonzol, associate professor of music, on recorder and Dr. Laura Renninger, dean of teaching and learning, on keyboard, present an eclectic mix of rarely performed recorder music from the Baroque era and song from the Classical era and beyond, including excerpts from Donizetti’s opera “Anna Bolena” on Tuesday, November 12.

Baritones Dr. Rob Tudor, associate professor and chair of the music department, and Bobb Robinson, adjunct professor of music, join New York-based pianist Jean Browne to present the song cycle “Here and Gone” by American composer Jake Heggie Thursday, January 23, 2014. Featuring poetry by A.E. Housman and Vachel Lindsay, the cycle premiered in 2005 at the Ravinia Festival. This sensitive and intense cycle explores the themes of returning home, lost love, and impermanence.

The evening continues as Tudor and Liao present of John Greer’s contemporary cycle “Sing Me At Midnight,” set to the poetry of World War I poet Wilfred Owen. It explores themes of love, war, and religion.

The evening concludes with songs for voice and guitar with Tudor and internationally acclaimed guitarist Bill Feasley.

The Shepherd Three–flutist Anne Munro, oboist Gregory Shook, and bassoonist Richard Polonchak, all adjunct professors of music, will perform on February 25, 2014. They are also members of the Two Rivers Chamber Orchestra. Performing together since 2006, the ensemble plays mostly Baroque and Classical trios and occasionally Romantic and Contemporary duos and trios for winds. The group has two pieces written especially for them by Cook and adjunct faculty member Cam Millar. Renninger joins them on piano and harpsichord.

The final recital of the Salon Series on March 20, featuring David Drosinos on clarinet, Jeffry Newberger on violin, Stephen Czarkowski on cello, all adjunct faculty members, and Liao on piano, brings in one of the most profound and monumental works of the 20th century–Quartet for the End of Time by French composer Olivier Messiaen and more on March 20. The evening will take the listener on a journey of sad, dark, sweet, hopeful, and eventually to transcendence.

The concerts are open are open to the public. Admission is free and donations suggested. For more information call304-876-5555 or visit

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