Stephen F. Austin State University

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Concert to celebrate great American songs of the 1930s through 1950s - CANCELLED!

April 4, 2018 - Robbie Goodrich
Kayla Roth (left) and Erin Roth Thomas

NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The recital by Kayla Roth and Erin Roth Thomas, titled "I Won't Dance: An Evening of Great American Song" and originally scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the Music Recital Hall, has been canceled.

For more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.

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NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The Calliope Concert Series at Stephen F. Austin State University will feature the program "I Won't Dance: An Evening of Great American Song" at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in the Music Recital Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

The recital features guest mezzo soprano Erin Roth Thomas of Plano performing with her sister, Kayla Roth, instructor of music theory and ear-training at SFA, who will accompany on piano.

"'I Won't Dance' is an evening celebrating the great old songs of the 1930s through the 1950s," said Thomas. "We've loved this music since we were kids. We'd stay up late on summer nights watching old musicals on Turner Classic Movies. We hope that the audience will feel transported back to a simpler time as they hear these old songs."

Among the tunes to be performed are "I Won't Dance" by Cole Porter; "They Can't Take That Away From Me" by George and Ira Gershwin; "What'll I Do?" by Irving Berlin; "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Jerome Kern, and many more.

"We were inspired by Bea Arthur's timeless performance of 'What'll I Do?' on 'The Golden Girls,'" Thomas said.

Also on the program is the Gershwins' "Someone to Watch Over Me," which was originally envisioned as an up-tempo jazz tune but eventually was re-worked as a ballad, Thomas explained.

Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone," also featured on the program, was originally from the musical "Carousel" and has been covered by numerous artists ranging from Judy Garland to the punk rock band Dropkick Murphies.

The recital will include a performance of the Gershwins' "By Strauss." Roth explains, "The singer proclaims the popular Broadway tunes of Berlin, Kern, Porter, and - in an inspired bit of self-deprecation - even Gershwin can't compare to the grand waltzes of Johann Strauss and his son. It includes lyrical references to some of Strauss Jr.'s best-known works, such as 'On the Beautiful Blue Danube,' 'Wine, Women and Song,' and 'Die Fledermaus,'" she said.

Praised by Theaterjones.com for possessing "a voice of surprising power and emotion," Thomas regularly performs as a concert soloist in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, singing a vast repertoire ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Magnificat" to Richard Danielpour's "An American Requiem." Equally comfortable on the opera stage, she has performed numerous roles, including Pitti-Sing in 'The Mikado,' Meg Page in 'Falstaff," The Mother in "Amahl and the Night Visitors," Prince Orlofsky in "Die Fledermaus," and, most recently, Hansel in "Hansel and Gretel."

Thomas is the alto section leader and soloist for Lovers Lane United Methodist Church. She is looking forward to the upcoming season, in which she is engaged as a soloist and chorister with Orpheus Chamber Singers, Verdigris Ensemble, Highland Park Chorale and The Texas Voices. An SFA graduate and former student of Nita Hudson, SFA voice faculty member, Thomas said she is thrilled to be back in the Piney Woods to perform with her sister.

Roth is also a graduate of SFA and Texas State University. All music on the concert was arranged by Roth.

The Calliope Concert Series is a presentation of the SFA School of Music. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/.