The Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts Department of Music celebrates the spirit of musical connection with its Spring Music Gala at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, in Colebank Hall.
Admission is free to the performance with a donation to The Soup Opera. Representatives will be at the concert to collect canned goods and other donations. For more information, call (304) 367-4219.
Featured during the evening’s performance is “Green Hills of Magic,” a new piece for wind ensemble with live narration by Dr. Judy P. Byers, Abelina Suarez Professor of English and Folklore, Senior Level, and Director of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. Written by Fairmont State’s Dr. Daniel Eichenbaum, Assistant Professor of Music, this work connects the extraordinary musicianship of Fairmont State’s music students along with four short folktales of West Virginia narrated by Byers, a preeminent folklorist and storyteller. All four stories come from the book of the same name which was written by Fairmont State’s own Dr. Ruth Ann Musick. As a devoted scholar of West Virginia folklore, Musick collected stories from across West Virginia and published this collection in 1970. The stories alternate from the serious to the humorous and include ghost, vampire and werewolf stories. Eichenbaum’s setting for band with Byers’ narration offers a fitting tribute to Musick and the folklore of West Virginia.
Closing the evening’s performance will be a joyful spectacle of nearly 100 musicians as the Fairmont State Wind Ensemble, Collegiate Singers and Community Chorus join forces to celebrate the arts at Fairmont State. The piece, “Caveat of the Cave,” began has a poem by Dr. Elizabeth Savage, Professor of English, in celebration of President Maria Rose’s Inauguration as Fairmont State’s 14th president. Eichenbaum has set the poem as a grand finale celebration that combines these musicians together in a triumphant climax to the evening’s performances.
The program also features Fairmont State’s Collegiate Singers who recently toured Florida. They will perform music excerpts from Haydn’s oratorio “The Creation” and Mozart’s “Coronation Mass.” Premiered in 1798, “The Creation” is a concertized musical rendition of the Book of Genesis and retells the creation of the world. Haydn’s “Creation” remains one of his most popular and enduring works. Mozart’s “Coronation Mass” was written in 1779 upon Mozart’s return to his city of birth, Salzburg, Austria, and his hiring as organist for the city’s cathedral. Though Mozart never called the mass “Coronation,” the name attached itself as 19th century royalty preferred this work for coronation ceremonies.
Also on the program will be performances by select students whose outstanding skill level show the height of musical attainment at Fairmont State. Performances include guitar duo Benjamin Male and Sean Lee, the Fairmont State Piano Ensemble, soprano Briana Pudsell, saxophonist Cecil Lopez, marimbist Elizabeth Bertovich and percussionists David Allen and Michael Robinson.