“Rule Americana” will be held Friday, April 20, 2012 at 7:30 pm in Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre. Students in the Monmouth University Orchestra, the Concert Choir, and the Chamber Choir will perform.
Department Chair David Tripold, with faculty members Ron Frangipane and Michael Gillette, selected representative works from renowned American composers, mostly of the 20th century. Among the works to be heard that evening will be Samuel Barber’s “Sure on a Shining Night” and his popular “Adagio For Strings,” “Alleluia” by Randall Thompson, and the “Chichester Psalms” by Leonard Bernstein, which will feature the soloist Jeffrey Mendelbaum, who is on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera and has performed concerts and opera up and down the East Coast.
In addition, two works by Aaron Copeland – “Appalachian Spring Suite” and “At The River” – will be performed, conducted by Professor Frangipane, who studied with Copeland and will share personal memories of their work together. Dr. Tripold will conduct the choirs.
The sibling team of George and Ira Gershwin will be represented by songs from their classic jazz opera, Porgy and Bess, currently enjoying a revival on Broadway. The hit song, “Summertime”, will be sung by soprano Jamie Baer-Peterson. Ms. Baer-Peterson was educated at The Eastman School of Music and began her professional operatic career as an apprentice with the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
“It Ain’t Necessarily So” will be performed by the award-winning baritone Mark Wilson, who has performed with the Asheville Lyric Opera, the Hartford Chorale, and the North Shore Music Festival, where he performed the role of Angelotti in Puccini’s Tosca. The moving “Bess, You Is My Woman” will be sung by Mr. Wilson and Ms. Baer-Peterson. Another popular composer of the 1930s, Cole Porter, will be represented by “The Oyster,” sung by Neal Harrelson. Mr. Harrelson trained with the prestigious Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and has performed with operas and orchestras throughout the US. Professor Gillette will be the concertmaster. To illustrate the expanse of American music, the Chamber Choir will also perform “Chester” by the 18th-century composer William Billings.
Tickets for “Rule, Americana” are now on sale at the Central Box Office, by calling 732-263-6889, or checking the Web site: www.monmouth.edu/arts. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. A second concert is taking place on campus that night so attendees are urged to arrive early.
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Media contact: Petra Ludwig or Rosaly Rivera at 732-571-3526