College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO Center for Historical Performance Presents a Series of Concerts and a Master Class

September 27, 2013

The University of Central Oklahoma Center for Historical Performance will present a series of performances and a master class Oct. 3-5 celebrating baroque music and the completion of a commissioned harpsichord for the center.          

Kicking off the events is the Historical Instruments concert featuring School of Music faculty members at 4-6 p.m., Oct. 3 in the Melton Gallery located in the Art and Design Building.       

This performance is a part of the Melton Gallery Performances Series, a fall semester series highlighting performance departments within the College of Fine Arts and Design.  All performances take place on Thursdays from 4-6 p.m. and are free and open to the public.      

Featured in this performance is violinist Hong Zhu, D.M.A., violinist Theodora Morris, violinist/violist Ralph Morris, D.M.A., cellist Tess Remy-Schumacher, D.M.A., vocalist Marilyn Govich, D.M.A., and pianist Richard Jobe.          

This performance highlights composers George Frederick Handel, Giuseppe Tartini and Heinrich Schutz, and the art of continuo, a baroque era invention of accompany of music that relies on improvisations from musicians.  In this style of music, simple melody lines and bass lines are presented by the composer with the expectation that the musician will add creative, spontaneous improvisations.          

The concert will also utilize the early 18th century invention of the string quartet, pioneered by Joseph Haydn and featured composer Luigi Boccherini.          

All instrumental faculty members will perform on either actual historical instruments dating as far back as the early 1800s or reproductions of such instruments.          

The fact that the concert will be held in the Melton Gallery also lends to the historical aspect of performance, according to featured performer Ralph Morris.          

“The whole idea of buying tickets, going to concerts and being a passive listener is an invention of the early 19th century,” explained Morris.          

“During the Baroque era, 1600-1750, concerts took place in small settings where people could enjoy food and drink and sit in close proximity to the musicians and be intimately involved in the music making process.  The Melton Gallery can provide such an experience.”          

The day after the Melton Gallery performance, the Center will receive its commissioned harpsichord, a historical keyboard, by Texas-based builder and musician Brad Bennight.  To celebrate this event, Bennight will present a master class at 2 p.m., Oct. 4 and a solo performance on the harpsichord at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 5.          

Both the master class and performance are free and open to the public and will take place in the Radke Fine Arts Theatre, located in the UCO Center for Transformative Learning.          

An anonymous donor financially supported the commissioning of a harpsichord built specifically for Central’s Center for Historical Performance.          

“Bennight came highly recommended as a harpsichord builder from several harpsichord players,” said Sallie Pollack, D.M.A., harpsichord performer and teacher for the Center.          

“Once the Center received its very generous donation, we were thrilled to commission Bennight to build the Center’s harpsichord.”          

According to Pollack, Bennight has become such a highly esteemed builder because he is first and foremost a harpsichord musician.          

“Bennight has such a passion and intimacy for performing on the harpsichord.  You couple that with the fact that he is also a highly trained technician and builder and you end up with an amazing instrument. Watching Bennight perform on the harpsichord he built will be a truly artistic and heartfelt experience.”          

For more information regarding the Center for Historical Performance and its outreach events, visit www.uco.edu/cfad/historical-performance/index.asp