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ASU School of Music hosts concerts

Article Published: Sep. 30, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

Wind instrument concert Oct. 10

An Oct. 10 performance by Hayes School of Music faculty and students will feature works written for wind instruments.

The 2 p.m. performance at Appalachian State University will be in Broyhill Music Center's Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

The Appalachian Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. John Stanley Ross, will be joined by soloist Nancy Schneeloch-Bingham on flute.

The program features William Alwyn's "Concerto for Flute and Eight Wind Instruments," Dmitri Shostakovich's "Festive Overture," Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Hammersmith," William Schuman's "George Washington Bridge: An Impression for Band" and Sergei Prokofiev's "March, Op. 99."

The ensemble also will premiere "My Voice" by Elaine M. Ross.  Ross is coordinator of music theory and composition at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. Her composition "Canyons for Woodwind Quintet" won the Sinfonia National Woodwind Quintet Composition Competition. 

In 2008, her "Wildfire for Symphonic Winds" was a selected work in the quarterfinal round of the Coups de Vent International Wind Orchestra Competition in Lille, France.

Completed in August, "My Voice" depicts the techniques and harmonic vocabulary that help define the composer's voice.

Schneeloch-Bingham is a professor of flute at Appalachian.

She performs in the faculty woodwind quintet and Harmonia Baroque, an early music ensemble featuring historical instruments.

Organist Joby Bell performs Oct. 14

Organist Dr. Joby Bell performs Bach, Bonnet, Franck and Durufle Oct. 14 at Appalachian State University. The 8 p.m. recital will be in Broyhill Music Center's Rosen Concert Hall. Admission is free.

The program begins with Joseph Bonnet's "Etude de Concert." Bonnet was organist at the Parisian Church of St. Eustache and at the Paris Conservatory. Later, he moved to the United States and founded the organ studio at the Eastman School of Music.

Franck's "Cantabile" is part of the composer's 12 large works for organ that cemented the French Symphonic style of organ composition. The shortest of the works, only five pages long, it features a single theme played three times: once in the soprano range, once in the tenor range, and after a brief buildup, once in canon between soprano and bass, all accompanied by lush chromatic harmony.

Bach's "Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C, BWV 564" is often called the "the T-A-F" by organists. The composition shows off hands and feet before settling into the rising and falling themes of the toccata. The adagio gently lilts along, much like a similar movement by Vivaldi might have. While it does not exhibit Bach's later mastery of the fugue, the last movement is characterized by a catchy, swift melody.

Contemporary composer Durufle's three-movement "Suite" was published when the composer was 32. The "Prelude" is brooding as it builds from the darkest stops to full organ and back down again, closing with a mournful soliloquy on a reed stop. The "Sicilienne" movement is rhythmic and lilting.

Durufle breaks from the typical French organ toccata in his "Toccata" infusing his composition with a  more sophisticated form, with two contrasting themes and subtle use of derived motives in the background, all in a relentless compound meter full of sixteenth notes and off-beat accents.

Bell is an active and sought after recitalist, clinician and collaborative organist. His performances have been at the invitation of numerous chapters and conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Victoria Bach Festival, the Houston Masterworks Chorus, the Washington National Cathedral, and the Conferences on Worship and Music at Montreat Conference Center.

His concertizing throughout the United States has met with high acclaim, while his performances abroad have been enthusiastically received in Paris, Chartres, London, and throughout Scotland, Romania and Hungary.

Bell has served the American Guild of Organists as a faculty member of Pipe Organ Encounters for young people, as dean of the Houston (Texas) and Boone chapters, and most recently as director of the National Young Artists Competition in Organ Performance.

Since 2004, he has served on the faculty of Appalachian's Hayes School of Music, where he teaches organ and sacred music studies. His teaching specializes in memorization and practice techniques, service playing, choral accompanying, and maintaining grace under pressure. Dr. Bell currently serves as organist at First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir.

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