Feb. 20 SRCP concert features song by America’s 1s...

Feb. 20 SRCP concert features song by America’s 1st composer

Music lovers can take a trip through history with the Stones River Chamber Players’ Feb. 20 concert, which showcases music from “The 13 Original Colonies” of America.

The 7:30 p.m. performance in the Hinton Music Hall of MTSU’s Wright Music Building is the second in the three-concert season, titled “Pack Your Bags,” for the SRCP, a faculty ensemble-in-residence at MTSU.

The concert is free and open to the public.

Six songs to be performed by MTSU faculty soprano Christine Isley-Farmer are compositions by five different early Americans.

“Two (of the six) are the work of America’s first composer, Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence,” Isley-Farmer explained. “Hopkinson’s song ‘My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free’ was written in 1759 and holds the distinction of being the first musical composition ever written in America by an American.”

School of Music faculty member Lillian Pearson will accompany the six vocal pieces on the fortepiano, a new acquisition that replicates a piano circa 1795.

MTSU flutist Deanna Little, oboist Laura Ann Ross, clarinetist Todd Waldecker, horn player Angela DeBoer and bassoonist Dawn Hartley will team up to perform “A Perfect Fairy Tale: Romance.”

“Sandra Flesher, the composer (of this work), is an oboe player trained at the Eastman School of Music,” DeBoer said. “She has been principal oboe at the New Hampshire Music Festival for 42 years.”

Adding to the diversity of music, Andrea Dawson, Christine Kim and Arunesh Nadgir will perform Leonard Bernstein’s “Piano Trio” on violin, cello and piano, respectively.

“This (Bernstein) work from his student days contains many appealing melodic ideas,” said Dawson.  “It was quite a crowd-pleaser when we performed it at the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra benefit a few weeks ago.”

Roger Kellaway’s “Esque” will be performed by David Loucky on trombone and Tim Pearson on bass.

“The composer betrays his early experience playing the bass, although today he is well-known as a jazz pianist and composer,” Loucky said of Kellaway. “This fact was not lost on my colleague Tim Pearson, who is the third or fourth bassist with whom I have had the pleasure of performing this piece. Both the trombone and bass part are technically virtuosic. Rarely is a work that requires so much effort so enjoyable to play and listen to. It is quite a romp!”

Iconic American composer Charles Ives will be represented in the Feb. 20 concert by his “Largo for Violin, Clarinet and Piano.”

“I have always been intrigued by Charles Ives’ music,” said clarinetist Waldecker. “Leonard Bernstein once said that Charles Ives was ‘America’s first really great composer—our Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson of music.'”

Waldecker will be joined on the Ives composition by Dawson on violin and Lynn Rice-See on piano.

The final composition, a work for brass quintet by Bruce Adolphe called “Triskelion,” will be performed by Michael Arndt and Jamey Simmons on trumpets, Loucky on trombone, DeBoer on the horn and Greg McCracken on the tuba.

“This is a work that the faculty brass quintet has considered performing for a number of years, having enjoyed hearing (various) performances of it,” DeBoer said. “The motivic nature of the work makes it enjoyable to hear, yet the underlying rhythmic complexities in each of the three movements of ‘Triskelion’ make it a deceptively difficult to perform. It is challenging, both mentally and physically.”

For more MTSU School of Music concert information, call 615-898-2493 or visit and click on the “Concert Calendar” link.