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Press Releases

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Music Festival Features 'Sounds and Soloists'

SALISBURY, MD---From an SU composer-conductor to some of the greatest musicians to come from Vienna, the Salisbury University Department of Music celebrates melodies from around the globe during its “Sounds and Soloists From Near and Far” spring festival May 3-9 in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

The series begins with the University Chorale 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3. Conducted by Dr. William Folger, SU director of choral studies, the performance features the works of mostly American composers, including Eric Whitacre’s “Water Night,” Norman Luboff’s “Deep River,” Moses Hogan’s “The Battle of Jericho” featuring soprano soloist Allison Bewley and Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” with soloists Kelly Hays (soprano), Christi Stone (alto) and Robert Slangen (tenor). Also featured is Brahms’ “Motet Op. 29, No. 2.” The SU Percussion Ensemble under the direction of Ted Nichols also performs.

Conductor Lee Knier continues the series 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, with the Salisbury Pops. The concert begins with a celebration of Cinco de Mayo featuring three Hispanic songs: Lecuona’s Malaguena, Perkins’ Fandango and Codina’s Zacatecas March. SU students Robert Slangen (tenor), Brian Mahoney (trumpet) and Scott Bunting (clarinet) take center stage as soloists on “La donna e mobile” from Verdi’s Rigoletto, Alfred Reed’s “Ode for Trumpet” and Arte Shaw’s “Clarinet Concerto,” respectively. Other selections include well-know American marches and popular songs such as “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The SU Jazz Brazz Big Band, conducted by Dr. Jerry Tabor, takes the stage 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7, with guest performer Chris Vadala. A renowned saxophonist, Vadala has toured with the Chuck Mangione Quartet and recorded with a “Who’s Who” of jazz and soul, including Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini and Doc Severinsen.

The founder of the University of Maryland’s jazz studies program and a former high school teacher, he reunites with his old student, James Burks, to perform Bill Liston’s fusion ballad “Across the Channel.” Vadala also joins the band—including senior singer Laurel Noone in her final SU performance as a student—in such classics as “Take the A Train,” “A Night in Tunisia” and “Oliver,” all arranged by Jeff Tyzik.

Joining the Jazz Brazz Big Band is the Concert Jazz Combo, featuring Florian Mann of Germany on alto sax and Noone on pieces including “Embraceable You” and “The Lady is a Tramp.” Also performing is the Classic Jazz Combo, featuring soloist Dan Laraway on trombone. Classic jazz pieces include an arrangement of Roy Hawkins’ “The Thrill is Gone” by Burks and Laraway.

Washington Music Center of Wheaton, MD, and the Conn-Selmer Corp. sponsor the concert. Through their cooperation, professional saxophone products will be available at the performance for the public to view and play in the lobby.

Sponsored by the Department of Music, admission to these concerts is free, and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6385 or visit the SU Web site at

The festival culminates with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra’s (SSO) annual Spring Concert 8 p.m. Saturday, May 9. Conducted by Dr. Jeffrey Schoyen, the performance features guest violinist Kia-Hui Tan. She has performed as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician on five continents including London’s Barbican Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Described in The Strad as a “violinist whose virtuosity was astonishing,” she has broadcast live on radio, television and the Internet, recorded soundtracks for film and theater, and freelanced with many orchestras in the United States and United Kingdom, often as concertmaster.

She joins the SSO on Mozart’s “Violin Concerto in A Major, K. 219.” Other pieces include Beethoven's “King Stephen Overture,” Schubert's “Symphony No. 3” and selections from Braham's Hungarian Dances The orchestra also premieres “In Circles of Blue,” a meditative piece with jazz influences by Dr. Jerry Tabor.
Sponsored by Apple Discount Drugs and the Law Offices of Otway Russo, admission is $20, $15 for seniors, $5 for children 12 and under. For tickets visit the SSO Web site at

As part of a League of American Orchestras drive, donations of non-perishable food to benefit the Maryland Food Bank are accepted at the concert. For more information call 410-548-5587.

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