Arkansas New Music Ensemble to Perform World Premiere by Andrea Clearfield
Award-winning composer Andrea Clearfield will be in residence for four days as the McIlroy Family Visiting Professor in Performing and Visual Arts. Clearfield will meet with students throughout the department on the topics of composition, performance, and life as a professional musician.
The highlight of the residency will be the world premiere of Rabsong Shar (The Eastern Room of the Palace), performed by the Arkansas New Music Ensemble and Moon-Sook Park, assistant professor of voice.
The piece is inspired by Clearfield's work to preserve the indigenous folk music of the Himalayan region of Lo Monthang, Nepal. One of 130 songs recorded by Clearfield and Katey Blumenthal, ethnomusicologist and anthropologist, Rabsong Shar was a song performed to welcome the king and queen of Lo Monthang.
"The work deals with memory, loss and change. It is also about song as a way to tell the story of a people and to celebrate, honor and preserve a culture and its language," said Clearfield.
The world premier will be part of the Arkansas New Music Ensemble's spring concert on Thursday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center. Admission is free and tickets may be reserved here.
"The opportunity for our students to collaborate with an award-winning composer like Andrea and perform a world premier piece is an incredible experience" Jamal Duncan, director of the Arkansas New Music Ensemble. "Our students are ready to share in the excitement of the performance and to learn from such a talented composer."
Other works on the concert will feature music department faculty. Benjamin Pierce, associate professor of tuba and euphonium, will be the featured soloist on Ricardo Lorenz's Monkey to the Sky. Elizabeth Margulis, music professor and director of the Music Cognition Lab, will narrate Michael Gandolfi's Pinocchio's Adventures in Funland.
The McIlroy Family Visiting Professorship in Performing and Visual Arts, established in 2005 through the philanthropy of Hayden and Mary Joe McIlroy and the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation, supports the teaching and work of a professional artist who imparts highly specialized knowledge essential to students' artistic, educational, and career enrichment and valuable to the community at large.
Robert Hopper, associate director of operations
Department of Music
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