This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

Music department winds down concert season

Schedule features Megan Latham, Jack Mitchener, Slee Sinfonietta, Baird Trio

Published: April 7, 2005

Reporter Contributor

A performance by Canadian mezzo-soprano Megan Latham on April 29 will be one of several concerts presented by the Department of Music in April and May as it winds down its concert schedule for the academic year.

Joining Latham on the schedule will be organist Jack Mitchener, and UB's own Slee Sinfonietta and Baird Trio.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Marilyn Horne Foundation (MHF), Latham will perform the fifth concert in the Slee/Visiting Artist Series at 8 p.m. April 29 in Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall, North Campus. The concert is part of the singer's three-day residency at UB, which will include outreach activities to local primary and secondary schools. The third vocalist to appear at UB through the MHF, Latham will be accompanied by pianist Stephen Philcox.

While earning a master's degree in opera at the University of Toronto, Latham performed roles from Dorabella in Mozart's "Cosí fan tutte" to Patricia Ryan in Gary Kulesha's "The Last Duel," which she premiered.

As an undergraduate at the University of British Columbia, she was a featured soloist in "West Coast Performance," which was recorded for broadcast by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC). She also served as understudy to Judith Forst as the Star Princess in Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer's "The Star Princess and the Waterlilies," and twice was a quarter-finalist in the CBC Young Performer's Competition.

As a soloist, she has performed Handel's "Messiah" and "Dixit Dominus," Rossini's "Missa Solennelle," Haydn's "Lord Nelson Mass" and Mozart's "Coronation Mass," among others.

An Eastman alumnus with a teaching post at the North Carolina School of the Arts, organist Jack Mitchener has performed widely in the United States and Europe, receiving critical acclaim in The American Organist for his "expressive and original playing."

He will bring that talent to Lippes Concert Hall for a recital at 8 p.m. April 22.

Mitchener has performed and taught master classes for conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Music Teachers National Association, the Anglican Association of Musicians and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. In May 2003, he completed a series of 15 recitals in which he performed, over the course of almost three years in various venues in Winston-Salem. N.C., the complete organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach.

Formerly organist of the American Cathedral in Paris, Mitchener is Kenan Professor of Organ at the North Carolina School of the Arts, associate professor of organ and college organist at Salem College and organist at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem.

In addition, he serves as president of the Board of Trustees of the Moravian Music Foundation.

A different format is being employed for the Slee Sinfonietta's final performance of the 2004-05 season. Composer reading sessions will be presented at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. April 19 in Lippes Hall and each will feature the music of UB graduate composition students Derek Charke and Chung Shih Hoh.

These open, informal reading sessions offer a unique learning opportunity for the students, who will have their work performed by the musicians who make up UB's professional chamber orchestra, and an interesting listening opportunity for the audience, who will hear new compositions being performed and witness firsthand the sort of dialogue that occurs among composer, conductor and musicians.

The sessions will be free and open to the public and do not require a ticket.

Formed in 1997 by composer David Felder and conductor Magnus Mårtensson, the Slee Sinfonietta features advanced students in performance, along with faculty artists, soloists and regional professionals, in the production of concerts designed to contribute new possibilities for concertgoers within the UB community and Western New York.

In residence at UB, the Baird Trio performs a wide range of repertoire, devoting particular attention to recent and rarely heard works for the medium and actively seeks new music in an effort to extend the vitality of the genre for the future.

On May 2, the Baird Trio will present a program that includes Spanish composer Joaquin Turina's impressionistic "Circulo," a piece that takes the listener through the passing of a day. Works by Kagel and Mendelssohn also will be performed in the concert, to be held at 8 p.m. in Lippes Hall.

The Baird Trio is named in honor of the late Cameron Baird, the founder of the UB Department of Music, and his wife, Jane Baird, a long-time benefactor of the music department. The trio performed from 1989 to 1993, and reformed in the fall of 2000 with violinist Movses Pogossian and cellist Jonathan Golove joining pianist Stephen Manes, a member of the original trio.

Tickets for Megan Latham and Jack Mitchener are $12 for the general public; $9 for UB faculty/staff/alumni, senior citizens and WNED members with card; and $5 for students. Tickets for the Baird Trio are $5 for the general public and free to students with ID.

Tickets for all Slee Hall concerts may be obtained at the Slee box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, at the Center for the Arts box office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at all Ticketmaster locations.