A series of vocal and instrumental concerts will close the academic year at Monmouth College. Free and open to the public, most of the events will be held in the Kasch Performance Hall of the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.
The dates and groups/individuals performing include:
• Vocalist TJ Hill, May 3, Dahl Chapel, 3 p.m.
• Violinist Mariela Shaker, May 3, Dahl Chapel, 7 p.m.
• The Scotsmen, May 3, Wells Theater, 7 p.m.
• Wind Ensemble & Concert Band, May 4, Dahl Chapel, 2 p.m.
• Chamber Choir & Concert Choir, May 5, Dahl Chapel, 7:30 p.m.
• Percussion Ensemble, May 6, Dahl Chapel, 7 p.m.
• The Sassy Lassies, May 8, Wells Theater, 6 p.m.
The music events will begin with student recitals on May 3. Senior TJ Hill of Rockford will present a voice recital at 3 p.m. and Syrian student Mariela Shaker will present a violin recital at 7 p.m. Hill was the winner of the Broadway division for college men at last fall’s regional competition of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. An accomplished violinist, Shaker performed regularly with the Aleppo Chamber Orchestra and was invited to the Dubai Arabian Competition to play with the Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2009, she joined the Governmental Syndicate of Artists in Syria and was selected to teach in multiple institutes in Aleppo.
The Wind Ensemble and Concert Band will stage a joint performance on May 4 at 2 p.m.
Conducted by Joseph Brown, the Concert Band will begin with “Conquering Spirit” by Ed Kiefer. Also to be performed will be a medley of works by Percy Grainger, one of the wind band world’s most beloved composers.
A three-movement suite of songs from the Southern Appalachian Mountains, arranged by William Harbinson, a member of the music faculty at Appalachian State University, will be the featured selection of the program. The work will include solos by students George Burnette, Marissa Gillam, Carina Moschello, Mollie Murdock and Tara Oakes.
To celebrate Star Wars Day (observed May 4 as a pun based on the phrase “May the fourth be with you”), the Concert Band will conclude its portion of the program with a medley from the ever-popular Star Wars Saga.
“The music for the Wind Ensemble will be very eclectic – a little something for everyone,” said its director, Matthew Wanken. “A theme of word and dance loosely ties the program together with most of our selections being inspired by one or the other.”
Selections will include “Three Dances of Enchantment” by Luigi Zaninelli and selections by two of the most prolific composers for wind band – Frank Ticheli (“Rest”) and Percy Grainger (“Molly on the Shore”).
“A highlight of the program will be the conclusion of our first fundraiser for the Wind Ensemble’s tour to Ireland in May 2015,” said Wanken. “We are participating in a ‘money war’ among three college employees – President Ditzler, Richard Johnston and Billy Bernard. Whichever candidate raises the most money prior to the concert will win a chance to conduct a piece during the performance.”
On May 5 at 7:30 p.m., the Chamber Choir and Concert Choir will perform. Directed by assistant professor of music Tim Pahel, the Chamber Choir is composed of 17 students.
“We do a wide range of repertoire, from vocal jazz to multicultural to folk music to classical, and the music we’ll perform will show a lot of that diversity of styles,” said Pahel.
Highlights will include “Peze Kafé,” an arrangement of a Haitian folk song by Sten Källman, sung in Haitian French. The ensemble will perform several pieces by the Finnish composer Jaakko Mäntyjärvi, who will have just finished his residency on campus. Two vocal jazz selections – “Voice Dance” by Greg Jasperse and “Café” by Jeremy Fox – will be performed, as well as classical compositions such as Benjamin Britten’s “The Evening Primrose” and Ruth Watson Henderson’s “Annabel Lee,” originally written for Nova Singers of Galesburg.
Dane Feenstra, a 2011 Monmouth graduate, directs the Concert Choir. The 26-student choir will also present a variety of music, including classical, folk and spirituals. A highlight will be “Every Time I Feel the Spirit” arranged by William Dawson.
A Percussion Ensemble concert will be presented on May 6 at 7 p.m.
Two a cappella concerts will be held in Wells Theater. The Scotsmen, the college’s all-male a cappella group, will perform on May 3 at 7 p.m., while The Sassy Lassies, an all-female ensemble, will sing on May 8 at 6 p.m.