The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music datebook: Free Earth Day concert on Tuesday features UW performers and works

April 18, 2010
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

This a reminder that a FREE and PUBLIC Earth Day concert will be held in Promenade Hall in the Overture Center this Tuesday, April 20, at 8 p.m.

Admission is free and no tickets are required, but seating is limited.

The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW-Madison is hosting the event in connection with its Earth Day conference April 20-21 at Monona Terrace, which marks the 40th anniversary of both Earth Day (which former Wisconsin governor and US Senator Gaylord Nelson founded) and the Nelson Institute.


Here is some information from a press release:

UW-Madison sociology professor Michael Bell (below), who put the concert together, has provided more details about the program:

The concert features new compositions honoring Wisconsin’s environment and Wisconsin environmentalists.

Two of the composers are faculty members at the UW-Madison School of Music.  The concert begins with the world premiere of “Horizons” by Douglas Hill (below), professor of horn.  “Horizons” is a lyrical piece for tenor and chamber ensemble, based on the writings of Wisconsin author Sigurd Olson.

Next comes “Seasons” by John Stevens (below top), professor of tuba and a composer.  Spoken with the uplifting sound of the Wisconsin Brass Quintet (below bottom), “Seasons” is an ode to our state’s ever-changing climate.

The second half of the concert begins with the world premiere of “The Awakening Land” by Chris Bocast (below), a doctoral student at UW-Madison.  Bocast’s piece draws its inspiration from the writings of Wisconsin author Ben Logan and mixes field recordings of environmental sounds with guitar and piano. Next is the premiere of “Gatherings” by Michael Bell, professor of community and environmental sociology.

Blending bluegrass and classical styles, “Gatherings” is a “class-grass” celebration of the environmental writings of a medley of Wisconsinites, including Laura Ingalls Wilder, Gaylord Nelson, and Keewaydinoquay Peschel.

The concert concludes with “Marshland,” another piece by Douglas Hill, drawn from Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac,” with narration by Curt Meine, Leopold’s biographer and a UW-Madison alumnus.

“Ecotones” will showcase some of Madison’s best-known performers. In addition to the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, the musicians include Parry Karp on cello, Martha Fischer on piano, Bruce Gladstone singing tenor, Linda Bartley on clarinet, John Aley on trumpet, Mark Hetzler on trombone, Chris Wagoner on violin, the jazz singer Mary Gaines, and Shauncey Ali, the 2008 Wisconsin Grand Champion fiddler.

I hope the concert gets recorded and the broadcast by Wisconsin Public Radio or even made into a CD.

I also think a free concert of music with an environmental theme and a local focus is a great way to mark Earth Day.

What do you think?

If you go to the concert, how was it?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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