February 13, 2015 | By Tyler Kelly, Courtesy of The Daily Mississippian
Living Music Resource is ending its season with tonight’s side-by-side Cabaret Performance from Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcom and songstress Joan Morris.
“Friday night will surely be a treat,” said Heather Higginbotham, junior music education major and Living Music Resource intern. “‘Cabaret’ will feature students, faculty, alumni and Bolcom and Morris themselves.”
Artist in residence Bruce Levingston will perform a song written by Bolcom called “New York Lights.”
“The wonderful tenor Jos Milton will sing the vocal part. I first heard the work premiered in New York City just after 9/11, and it moved the audience to tears. It is from Bolcom’s powerfully moving opera ‘A View from the Bridge.’”
“I am honored and thrilled to be on this program with so many fantastic artists,” Levingston said. “This will be a really fun and memorable evening of collaboration.”
Bloom and Morris began their time in Oxford with two free workshops for students on Wednesday. The first event, the Living Music Resource’s “Beat,” was an interactive interview, part of a series held at the Gertrude Ford Performing Arts Center and hosted by Nancy Maria Balach. “Beat” was live streamed on livingmusicresource.com and recorded by Bolcom and Morris with UM students.
“The site offers topic-specific video entries with experts in the field of music (composition, diction, singing, etc.) and presents a livestreamed interactive interview series called the ‘Beat,’” creator, editor and host of Living Music Resource Nancy Maria Balach said. “Our demographic encompasses university students and professors, community members interested in the arts and public school classrooms in Mississippi and Pennsylvania.”
“This time around, we are focusing on the art of collaboration,” said Claudia Salcedo, junior music education major and LMR student helper. “During the livestream, myself and seven other of my fellow choir members will be performing a piece written by Price Walden.”
In the second workshop, Bolcom and Morris worked with students on selections from the “American Songbook.”
“I am singing one of Bolcom’s Cabaret Songs entitled ‘George,’” Higginbotham said Wednesday before she sang. “I am beyond excited to have this amazing opportunity. It is very rare that a singer has the chance to perform a song for the person who wrote it, much less for free. It will surely be a wonderful educational opportunity for myself and also the members of the audience.”
These programs, Balach said, are exemplary of Living Music Resource’s core purpose.
“LMR believes it has a responsibility to advocate for the arts, which should include contemporary music, accomplished composers and artists who make the music happen,” Balach said. “LMR aims to attract new music lovers. We are breaking classical music stereotypes and enticing people to ‘try’ classical music, learn about classical music and to see classical music in a new way.”
Tickets for the performance will be $8 for students and will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Nutt Auditorium.