Mendelssohn Subject of Two-Day Festival at USAO

Mendelssohn Subject of Two-Day Festival at USAO


He is considered by many as the 19th century equivalent of Mozart. The work and life of Felix Mendelssohn and the Romantic era will be featured during the Festival of Music and Ideas Oct. 5-6 at the University of Science and Arts.

The festival is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Student Center Ballroom. The performances are free and the public is invited. Refreshments will be served. USAO faculty, students, alumni and staff will present the music, art and drama of the Romantic era and highlight the work of Mendelssohn.

"This festival is designed in the tradition of the popular Five Bs Festivals at USAO. The music of Mendelssohn will be featured as well as the art, history, literature, and drama of the Romantic era," said Rhenada Finch, coordinator of the festival and staff accompanist at USAO. The Five Bs Festival celebrated the life, music and times of five composers whose last names all started with the letter B.

The USAO Concert Choir will be featured in the Monday night performance. The choir is under the direction of Dr. Jan Hanson, professor of music at USAO. Hanson also is scheduled to speak on "Mendelssohn and Early Romanticism" during the evening.

Finch, on piano, and Michelle Skinner, a 2006 USAO graduate, on flute, are scheduled to present "Allegro molto vivace, violin concerto in E minor, Op. 64." The USAO Vocal Jazz Ensemble will present "Glory to the Newborn King" with arrangement by Craig Curry from "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." The Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Ken Bohannon, associate professor of music at USAO.

Dr. Stephen Weber, associate professor of music, and Finch are scheduled to present Notturno, "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 61." Dr. Weber also will perform "Prelude in E minor, Opus 35, No. 1." Alex McCabe, a music major from Norman, is scheduled to perform "If with all your hearts" from "Elijah, Op. 70."

USAO Assistant Professor of Art Jacquelyn Knapp will present "German Romanticism in Art" and the USAO drama department will end the evening with scenes from Shakespeare's play "A Midsummer Night's Dream."

The Tuesday night performance features the USAO Concert Wind Ensemble performing "Wedding March" from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The USAO Key Players are next with "The Hebrides: Overture in B minor, 'Fingal's Cave,' Op. 26," with arrangement by Dr. Dan Hanson, professor of music at USAO and director of the Droverspirit Wind Ensemble and Key Players.

Bohannon and Weber return the second night to perform "Hexenlied, Op. 8, No. 8." Dr. Jan Hanson and Angela Kreiger, adjunct faculty member, will perform "Lied ohne Worte, Op. 109" from "Songs Without Words." Weber and Finch share in the music portion of the program with "Allegro vivace, Symphony No. 5 in B Minor."

Weber and Dr. Zach Simpson, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies, will present "Historic and Philosophic Developments During Mendelssohn's Lifetime." Dr. Shelley Rees, assistant professor of English, is scheduled to present "A Gothic Novel." The USAO drama department will present a dramatic reading from Goethe's "Faust" and a dramatization of Howard Brenton's play "Bloody Poetry."

Members of the USAO Concert Choir are preparing for the upcoming Festival of Arts and Ideas, a spinoff event from last year’s popular Five B’s festivals.  The two-night festival focusing on the powerful music of Felix Mendelssohn is scheduled Oct. 5-6 in the USAO Ballroom.  The event features coffee and dessert. Admission is free.