The Edmond Sun

September 27, 2013

UCO Center for Historical Performance presents a series of faculty concerts and a master class

Special to The Sun

EDMOND — 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 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, violinist Theodora Morris, violinist/violist Ralph Morris, cellist Tess Remy-Schumacher, vocalist Marilyn Govich 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 also will 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 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,” Morris explained.           

“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.