Upcoming UTC Concerts

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Here are the upcoming concerts at UTC:

The UTC Chamber Singers and Chattanooga Singers, both directed by Dr. Kevin Ford, will present their spring concert at 2nd Presbyterian Church, 700 Pine St., on Friday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free of charge and open to the general public.

The program will open with music from British, Renaissance, and Baroque composers Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, John Blow, George Frederick Handel and Henry Purcell. Also included in the program is “From an Unknown Past,” a set of seven short works by American composer Ned Rorem, and works by Maurice Duruflé.

Soloists from both choirs include Alexandra Bryant, Varanda Bell, Taylor Brittingham and Maria Shull. A few of the evening’s selections will be conducted by Justin Hipp, graduate assistant conductor for the Chamber Singers and Gerald Peel, graduate assistant conductor for the Chattanooga Singers.

The UTC Chamber Singers is the most elite choir in the UTC Music Department. They are a small chorus of mixed voices that perform a variety of rigorous musical selections. Admission into this group is only available through audition.

The Chattanooga Singers is a slightly larger auditioned group of mixed voices that has been around since 1969. They too perform a wide variety of music. Both groups have enjoyed performing locally, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Kevin Ford, director both featured groups, is the director of Choral Activities at UTC. Dr. Ford taught High School Chorus, Band and Middle School Band in Rossville. He was formerly music program coordinator and choral director at Chattanooga State Technical Community College. Additionally, he was teacher of conducting and choral music education at the Crane School of Music at The State University of New York College at Potsdam.

Dr. Ford also served on the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte as director of Choral Activities and coordinator of Vocal Music Education prior to his current position.

The UTC Percussion Ensemble, directed by Dr. Monte Coulter, will present the tenth annual “Catch the Groove” concert on Monday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. This group of students will get the “groove” going in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, located in the UTC Fine Arts Center (corner of Palmetto and Vine). The concert is free and open to the general public.

This program features some of the newest and most interesting works for percussion. Christopher Rouse’s “Ku Ka Illimoku” is described by the composer as a “propulsive war dance,” and was not written for a college percussion group. It was commissioned by the Syracuse Symphony Percussion, and the score was given to Dr. Coulter by Thomas Wilkins, past director of University Orchestras at UTC, and now the music director of the Hollywood Bowl. “Yobel,” by Jesse Ayers, is the composer’s musical impression of trumpets, written entirely for mallet percussion. “Yobel” was the trumpet call in the Jewish calendar, which was used to signal the beginning of the Year of Jubilee. “Blue Pineapple Key Sprints,” written by UTC percussionist Alex Ford, is a fast footrace in the bright key of D Major, which frames a chorale section in the distantly related key of E flat major. “Normandy Beach,” by David Gillingham, is a stirring, programmatic work for mallets, drums, and pieces of iron, which evokes the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. It is one of the favorite pieces of this ensemble, and is often revisited. “Sinfonia, by J. S. Bach, is scored by UTC music alumnus and Chattanooga Symphony member David Pedigo, who performed for years with this ensemble. “Concerto for Drum Set and Percussion Ensemble,” by John Beck, was the first very successful work with the drum set as the featured instrument within the percussion ensemble. Performing the solo part in his last semester as a member of the UTC Percussion Ensemble, is Music Education senior Drew McCallie.

The UTC Percussion Ensemble this year features 13 students. Generally, the majority of players in this group are pursuing degrees in Music or Music Education. However, there is often room for talented non-majors, with the director's permission. This year, eight music majors and five non-music majors make up this group.

Director of the percussion ensemble, Dr. Monte Coulter, is also the director of percussion studies and coordinator of the graduate music program at UTC. Dr. Coulter is currently principal percussionist/ assistant timpanist for the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, and he has performed as a principal player in three of the four largest professional orchestras in Tennessee, as well as with the touring companies of Man of La Mancha (with Robert Goulet), Rich Little, The Electric Light Orchestra, The Moody Blues, Bernadette Peters, Shari Lewis, Al Jarreau, Art Garfunkel, Randy Newman and others.

The UTC Music Department will present the Men’s Chorus and Women’s Chorale, directed by Roland Carter and Dr. Lee Harris, performing on Tuesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. They will be joined by the Ooltewah High School Concert Choir, directed by UTC alumni Kristen Wiram, and InSpirit Male Chorus of Collegedate, directed by UTC graduate student Gerald Peel.

The concert will be held at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall in the UTC Fine Arts Center (corner of Palmetto and Vine), and it is free of charge and open to the general public.

The program will open with the combined ensembles performing “Modern Music” by William Billings. Subsequently, each group will perform three to four pieces on their own. After each male group performs their own set, they will combine to present “O Lord, Done Done What you Told me to Do,” arranged by Roland Carter, director of the Men’s Chorus. The program will close with all of the ensembles yet again combining to perform “This Lit’l Light of Mine,” also arranged by Mr. Carter.

Director of the Men’s Chorus and distinguished composer-arranger, Mr. Carter is the Ruth S. Holmberg UC foundation professor of Music at UTC. He teaches Applied Piano, Ear Training, Intro to African American Music, and Choral Arranging. Mr. Carter's list of presentations during the past 30 years includes concerts in the nation’s most prestigious venues with major orchestras, and lectures, workshops, master classes, and festivals for schools, churches, colleges and universities throughout the country. His compositions and arrangements are performed by music organizations throughout the world. Mr. Carter has also produced and appeared on programs for national and international radio and television. He is inconstant demand as a guest conductor and lecturer, and he maintains a very active schedule of workshops and performances yearly.

Director of the Women’s Chorale and head of the Music Department at UTC, Dr. Lee Harris is also an associate professor of music, teaching Ear Training, Elementary Music Methods, and Graduate Music Education courses.

Dr. Harris holds degrees from Harding University, the University of Memphis, and the University of North Texas. Upon arriving at UTC in 1995, he served as the Music Institute Director at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. He is certified in the Orff-Schulwerk and Kodály approaches to music education and directs the Kodály Institute at UTC, which he established in 2000.

The UTC Music Department will also present guest pianist, Derik Polischuk. He will perform “Music of the World” on Friday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall in the UTC Fine Arts Center (corner of Palmetto and Vine). This concert is open to the general public at no charge.

Pianist Derek Kealii Polischuk is assistant professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Michigan State University College of Music. Praised by critics as a “consummate keyboard artist,” an “earnest pianist,” and an “important young talent,” Mr. Polischuk’s performances have gained critical acclaim in California, throughout the Midwest, and in Hawaii at the Prince Albert Chamber Music Festival on the island of Kauai. A prizewinner in the Carmel International Piano Competition, the California International Young Artists Competition, and the Edith Knox Performance Competition, Mr. Polischuk has appeared as concerto soloist with the La Jolla Symphony, the Peninsula Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, and the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra.

Since the fall of 2009, Mr. Polischuk has been the resident pianist for the Michigan chamber music series Absolute Music. Mr. Polischuk’s performances have been broadcast on public radio in Michigan and California, and he has performed as a pianist and keyboard synthesist for Broadway touring productions in Los Angeles, Lansing, and Detroit.

Before joining the MSU faculty, Mr. Polischuk was instructor of piano at the University of Southern California and at Long Beach City College. He has presented at meetings of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American and the Christian Reformed Church in North America on church music improvisation, and is currently a musician on staff at River Terrace Church, a large Christian Reformed Congregation in East Lansing Michigan.

Mr. Polischuk will be performing major works from composers such as Eric Ewazen, Franz Schubert, Terry Riley and Frédéric Chopin.

For more information contact the UTC Music Department at 425-4601 or visit http://utc.edu/music.

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