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WCSU, RSO partner for chamber music concert

By Western Connecticut State University

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Top to bottom, l-r, (parenthesized photo credits): Jerry Steichen (Sherryl Hauck), Victoria Paterson (Daniel Dottavio), Wendy Kerner Lucas (Herb Deutsch), Nick Hardie, Ed Wojtowicz (Claudia Gerola) and Kerry Walker (Shel Secunda). (contributed)
DANBURY, CT - Western Connecticut State University and the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra will partner for the final performance of the 2013–14 chamber concert series at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9, in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The program’s pieces will offer a great variety of musical styles, ranging from a Beethoven trio based on a popular song to a tribute to the victims of the Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook shooting, written last year by a promising new composer with roots in Danbury.

The five selections to be performed are: “Aria in Classic Style” (Grandjany), “Trio for Flute, Cello and Piano” (Martinu), “Dawn” (Frucht), “Six Studies in English Folk-Song” (Vaughan Williams) and “Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in B flat Major” (Beethoven).

Marcel Grandjany was an internationally famous harpist and a founder of the American Harp Society. His “Aria” is based on a lyrical song first presented by solo harp, which then spreads to the remaining instruments.

Bohuslav Martinu’s “Trio” has two energetic movements surrounding a serene one, and there are imaginative jazz and tonal effects that sound like more than three instruments playing.

Twenty-four-year-old composer and percussionist Paul Frucht is in the doctoral program at Juilliard, where he received a master’s degree and several awards for his compositions. Frucht attended Danbury public schools, including Rogers Park Middle School, where Dawn Hochsprung was assistant principal. She later became principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School and lost her life in the shootings. “Dawn” is dedicated to Hochsprung, the other victims, and their families. It has been performed several times in New York and Connecticut. Frucht will remark about his composition during the chamber music concert.

The “Six Studies” are for cello and piano, perfect instrumental choices for showcasing the beautiful nature of each song. All are short and lyrical, except for the lively finale.

The witty Beethoven “Trio” has clarinet and piano fighting for attention in the first movement, the cello is prominent in the slow movement, and all three compete in the finale’s variations on a popular comic opera song.

The six performers will be: pianist Jerry Steichen, RSO musical director; Wendy Kerner Lucas, RSO’s principal harpist; Edward Wojtowicz, RSO’s clarinetist; violinist Victoria Paterson, a WCSU music faculty member; Nick Hardie, who served as assistant principal cellist in the RSO’s most recent concert; and Kerry Walker, both the RSO’s principal flutist and a professor of music at Western.

The WCSU-RSO chamber music concert series is sponsored by The Michael Skandera family and friends, and Reby Advisors.

General admission tickets are $25; and tickets are $15 for students, seniors and WCSU employees.Western students with valid I.D. will be admitted free. To purchase tickets, visit tickets.com with Ives Concert Hall as the venue, or call the university box office at (203) 837-TIXX.

For more information, call the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486 or George Leeman from the RSO at (203) 438-7538.

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