NACOGDOCHES, Texas – The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will present “Girl Power,” a concert featuring art songs for voice and piano written by women composers, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.
The performance will include works by Margaret Bonds, Jennifer Higdon, Lori Laitman, Maria Theresia von Paradies and Caitlin Vincent.
Laitman’s “Four Dickinson Songs,” set to poems by American poet Emily Dickinson, will be performed. “Of special note is the third song, ‘If I …,’ which Lori dedicated to her father on his 80th birthday,” said Dr. Ron Petti, director of collaborative piano at SFA and pianist for the performance. “He lived to be almost 100. These songs have very expressive melodies and harmonies.”
Higdon’s “Lilacs” is a setting of Walt Whitman’s poem “when lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d.” “This song is ethereal in scope,” Petti said. “Three additional songs by Jennifer Higdon, ‘Morning Opens,’ ‘In Our Quiet’ and ‘To Home,’ serve as tender, short musical gems.”
Jamie Weaver, associate professor of music history, will provide a short lecture to begin the recital and will also perform, including one selection by one of Mozart’s contemporaries, Maria Theresia von Paradies.
Two selections by African-American composer Margaret Bonds are included. These songs are reminiscent of the African-American spiritual, Petti said.
The program concludes with “Ahab” by Juliana Hall. A monodrama set to text by Caitlin Vincent, the work takes an imaginary approach to the final moments in the life of Herman Melville’s character, Captain Ahab, from the novel “Moby Dick.” Musical figures depicting the water in the movement of the sea are found throughout the work.
In addition to Petti and Weaver, other music faculty members performing are Debbie Berry, soprano; Ric Berry, tenor; Nita Hudson, mezzo soprano; Scott LaGraff, baritone; and Chris Turner, baritone.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.