To my friends and music lovers,
I hope you will be able to come to this interesting and fun concert that I have coordinated as the culminating event of “Words and Music 2005.” This concert is a fascinating exploration of two literary figures from our area and music that was inspired by that literature as well as ragtime from the turn of the century.
Please join us,
North Pointe Cultural Center
Saturday, March 19 at 8pm
Nancy Allen Lundy, soprano*
Michael Fennelly, piano
performing Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915”
*an advisory board member of Hudson Opera Theatre (HOT)
GWEN’S GRACE & BEAUTY RAGTIME BAND”
Kenneth Cooper, piano
Allan Dean, trumpet
Pascal Archer, clarinet
Tony Price, tuba
performing Ragtime and Operatic Spoofs
from the turn of the century
*made available through Gwen Gould Ensembles
Readings by Daniel Region
from the works of James Agee and Edith Wharton
$25, $22.50 (seniors)
$20 (North Pointe members)
$10 for students
Call 518-758-9234 for reservations.
See Press Release below for more information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE…
A Gala Concert, – Words & Music 2005 – will be held on Saturday, March 19th at 8:00 pm at North Pointe Cultural Arts Center on Route 9 in the village of Kinderhook. Gwen Gould, founder of the Columbia Festival Orchestra and artistic director of the Hudson Opera Theatre (HOT) has coordinated this innovative concert program.
The concert will be the final event of North Pointe’s special series of March programs honoring notable authors from the Hudson Valley and Berkshire Mountain areas. The concert will pay tribute to two Pulitzer prize-winning authors who worked in this area, Edith Wharton and James Agee. Ms. Wharton’s home, “The Mount” in Lennox, Massachusetts is well known to local residents and visitors alike. Her many novels include The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth and Ethan Fromme. James Agee the author of A Death in the Family and the screenwriter for such notable films as The African Queen and The Night of the Hunter did much of his writing during the last nine years of his life at his much-loved farm in Hillsdale. In a letter written in Hillsdale in 1950, he said “My feeling about living up here has changed; I realize it by how much I always hate to leave it for more than a day or two…”
A highlight of the concert will be a performance of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” based on Agee’s recollections of his childhood in Knoxville, Tennessee. Leontyne Price said of Barber’s composition, “You can smell the South in it!”
Soprano Nancy Allen Lundy, a resident of Columbia County, will perform Barber’s composition at North Pointe accompanied by Michael Fennelly. Ms. Lundy is associated with the Hudson Opera Theatre and is a frequent soloist for the New York City Opera. She has appeared as Poppea in Handel’s Agrippina, Sophie in Jonathan Miller’s production of Der Rosenkavalier, Gilda in Rigoletto and Musetta in La Boheme. Ms. Lundy has performed with Houston Grand Opera, The Washington Opera, The Minnesota Opera, Canadian Opera Company and the Spoleto, U.S.A. Festival. Notable concert engagements have included performances with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, the Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo) and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan. Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun began writing for Ms. Lundy following her success in Peony Pavilion directed by Peter Sellars at London’s Barbican Center, with subsequent performances in Rome and Paris. A recipient of the Sony ES Award from the Julliard School and the Stanley Tausend Award from New York City Opera, Ms. Lundy can be heard on the New Albion label on a CD of songs entitled “Dance Hits” by Aaron Kemis.
Michael Fennelly, pianist, made his orchestral debut at age ten and since then was selected to represent the US in the Horowitz competition in Kiev, Ukraine, performed in the International Chopin Symposium in Malibu sponsored by the Moscow Conservatory and USC, collaborated in the Schoenberg Music Festival at Bard College, and has given extensive solo recitals in California and New York, claiming many awards in competitions. He has performed with the New York Virtuoso Orchestra, recorded the premieres of two piano concertos, and made his New York City debut in Carnegie’s Weill Hall. Mr. Fennelly received a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music and the school’s prestigious Performer’s Certificate. At the Manhattan School of Music, he earned a Master of Arts degree, received the school’s prize for chamber music, and recently graduated as a Doctor of Music Arts. He is currently on staff at the Juilliard School.
Hudson resident, Daniel Region, an actor, writer, public speaker and director will do dramatic readings from the works of Agee and Wharton at the concert. Mr. Region has been an actor for more than 25 years. He trained in New York City under the guidance of John Strasberg, Geraldine Page, Madeline Thornton Sherwood, Shirley Knight and Shelly Winters. He was on Broadway in Torch Song Trilogy and was a founding member of the Pearl Theatre Company. Mr. Region has extensive theatre and television credits and has appeared in more than one hundred television commercials and voice-overs. For seventeen years he was heard as the “Voice” of the Emmy Award winning daytime drama As The World Turns. Mr. Region has written several books including Tales from Thurmons Corners and Waiting for the Angel. He is currently working on a new novel entitled The Wolves at your Door. Mr. Region is a member of the Ghent Playhouse Board of Directors.
Ragtime music flourished in America from 1896 to 1918, the time period of many Wharton novels. Daniel Region will perform readings from Wharton’s work and Gwen’s Grace & Beauty Ragtime Band will evoke a picture of life at the turn of the century through a selection of ragtime numbers and operatic spoofs that were very much in fashion at the time. Those accustomed to the more genteel musical forms (Edith Wharton was a likely example) viewed ragtime and other syncopated music suspiciously. An editorial in an 1899 issue of The Musical Courier commented “a wave of vulgar, filthy and suggestive music has inundated the land. It is artistically and morally depressing and should be suppressed by press and pulpit.” Gwen’s Grace & Beauty Ragtime Band will be far from depressing. Members of the band include Kenneth Cooper, piano, Allan Dean, trumpet, Pascal Archer, clarinet, and Tony Price, tuba. They will perform compositions by Scott Joplin, Tom Turpin, Fred S. Stone, Ludwig Stasny, John Philip Sousa and Louis Moreau Gottschalk.
Kenneth Cooper is a pianist, harpsichordist, musicologist and conductor. He has a PhD in musicology from Columbia University and is on the faculty there as well as at the Manhattan School of Music, where he is Chair of the Harpsichord Department and Director of the Baroque Aria Ensemble. As Music Director of the Berkshire Bach Ensemble, Kenneth Cooper has made a tradition of Bach at New Year’s and has instituted a series of “Concertofests” in the style of Bach’s Collegium Concerts. He has played at the Temple of Dendur (Metropolitan Museum of Art) with Paula Robison, Grand Canyon Music Festival, Yale-Norfolk Summer Chamber Music Festival, Washington Square Park Concerts and the Little Orchestra Society’s Vivaldi Festivals at Alice Tulley Hall. His spectacular versions of ragtime and other American music can be heard on his CDs, “Silks and Rags” (EMI) and “Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot” (Musical Heritage Society.) Arrangements for the ragtime music at the North Pointe concert are by Mr. Cooper. Mr. Cooper performed as a soloist with the Columbia Festival Orchestra on a concert with Paula Robison and on other occasions.
Trumpet player Allan Dean is a member of the Summit Brass and the St. Louis Brass Quintet and was a member of the New York Brass Quintet for eighteen years. He has appeared at the Casals and Spoleto *USA) Festivals, the Banff Centre and the Orford Arts Centre in Canada. He can be heard playing both modern trumpet and early brass on over eighty recordings on major labels including RCA, Columbia and Summit labels. He joined the Yale Faculty in 1988 and performed with the Columbia Festival Orchestra as soloist and principal trumpet.
Clarinettist Pascal Archer from Québec, Canada, is a graduate of the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, the Université de Montréal and Indiana University. He is also a former member of the New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. First Prize Winner at the Canadian Music Competition in both 1996 and 1997, he has performed on Canadian television and radio and as concerto soloist with the New World Symphony in 2002 and 2004. He has worked with such conductors as Charles Dutoit, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovitch and Michael Tilson Thomas. Pascal is currently working on a Masters Degree in Orchestral Performance at the Manhattan School of Music.
Tuba player Tony Price attended the Juilliard School and has been a free-lance musician in New York City for many years, playing all kinds of music including orchestral, ballet, broadway shows, recordings, jingles, and in many small ensembles. He was given the Most Valuable Player Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He currently plays with the Long Island Philharmonic and the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra.
This performance is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Hannaford Bros. Co. and Ed Herrington, Inc. provided corporate support for the concert.
Tickets for the event are $25, $22.50 (seniors), $20 (North Pointe members) and $10 for students. Call North Pointe Cultural Arts Center at 518-758-9234 for reservations.