The Stones River Chamber Players, MTSU’s ensemble-in-residence, will continue their 2013-14 season with a free public concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building.
The ensemble members, all of whom teach in MTSU’s School of Music, will perform Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale” and James Stephenson’s “The Devil’s Tale,” which both feature a narrator and identical instrumentation: violin, bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion.
“Stravinsky’s ‘The Soldier’s Tale’ tells the woes of a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil in exchange for unlimited wealth,” said Andrea Dawson, violinist for the group and co-coordinator of the Stones River Chamber Players. She noted that the composer includes elements of American jazz and ragtime in this piece.
The MTSU ensemble is part of a consortium that commissioned the second work, “The Devil’s Tale,” as a sequel to the Stravinsky work.
“Stephenson’s tale is set in modern-day Las Vegas and in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” Dawson explained. “Joe the musician and Hannah the showgirl try to find happiness despite the wily machinations of Sam the devil. Each small section of the work is given a palindromic title, such as ‘No, it is Not Opposition’ and ‘Live, O Devil, revel ever! Live! Do evil!’”
MTSU voice professor Stephen Smith will narrate both pieces on the program, and Dr. Reed Thomas, MTSU director of bands, will conduct the performance. In addition to Dawson, the Stones River Chamber Players will include MTSU music professors Tim Pearson on bass, Todd Waldecker on clarinet, Gil Perel on bassoon, Michael Arndt on trumpet, David Loucky on trombone and Matthew Jordan on percussion.
The ensemble’s final concert for this season is set for Monday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Hinton Hall. That free public program will feature performances of “Don Quichotte a Dulcinee” by Maurice Ravel and “Quartet for the End of Time” by Olivier Messiaen.
You can listen to streaming audio performances by the Stones River Chamber Players at www.mtsu.edu/music/srcpabout.php. For details on more MTSU School of Music performances, call 615-898-2493 or visit www.mtsumusic.com and click on the “Concert Calendar” link.