Little of this, little of that spice up spring concerts

| April 23, 2013

Sweet Briar College choir members practice with director Marcia Thom and pianist Anna Billias.

As the end of the academic year approaches, Sweet Briar musicians and singers are fine tuning their instruments and polishing their program selections for the College’s annual spring concerts.

First, the chamber and concert choirs will present a number of selections from the world of opera at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, in Memorial Chapel. Marcia Thom will direct, with piano accompaniment by Anna Billias.

The program includes works from Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” which Sweet Briar singers will perform with the Hampden-Sydney Men’s Chorus. There also will be a tribute from “Les Misérables” to mark the 50th anniversary of the College’s desegregation.

On Thursday, May 2, the College’s new-look and -sound chamber orchestra will showcase new works composed or arranged by Sweet Briar students, as well as small ensemble pieces selected and directed by students. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel.

Visiting assistant professor of music Jeff Jones took the baton last fall. A percussionist, composer and musicologist who studies and performs the music of cultures around the world, his direction gives the orchestra a different flavor.

“Our ensemble is based on the contemporary chamber group concept,” he says. “Think Bang on a Can, Kronos, Nexus, etc.”

He is calling the spring concert “Stone Soup, no. 1,” and suggests there will be nos. 2, 3, 4 and so on to follow in the “series.”

“We’re throwing in a potluck of sorts, a ‘Stone Soup’ concert,” Jones explains. “Everybody gets her say and puts something in and everybody gets something richer and more nourishing for doing so.”

Both performances are free, non-ticketed public events. For information about the Spring Choir Concert, please contact Thom at (434) 381-6221 or mthom@sbc.edu. Jones may be reached at (434) 381-6121 or jjones@sbc.edu for information about the Chamber Orchestra Concert.

Jennifer McManamay

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Category: Music, Performing Arts