The Williams College Department of Music presents “Singing Winds” with the Williams College Wind Ensemble in concert on Friday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall. This free event is open to the public.
With “Singing Winds” the Williams College Wind Ensemble finds inspiration in the human voice. Combining wind instruments with voice might challenge our usual notion of the modern wind ensemble, but holding true to a mission of renewing and redefining the genre, the ensemble promises to delight, as well as enlighten. Opening the concert is an iconic work by Gustav Holst that anyone who knows and loves the repertoire will recognize. What some may not remember is that Holst’s “Jupiter” from The Planets was inspired by the great English tradition of chorale singing. The ensemble has also invited Ivy Walz, mezzo-soprano, for a musical recitation of four great poems titled Image in Stone by composer Stephen McNeff. McNeff’s work puts Whitman, Rosetti, Donne, and an ancient Greek poem to music. After a brief intermission, the ensemble performs Christopher Marshall’s Emily Dickenson Suite which interprets eight of Dickenson’s greatest works. The final piece is by composer, conductor, and pianist Yasuhide Ito titled Gloriosa. This harkens back to a very special Japanese vocal tradition that traces its roots back to Gregorian chant.
The group’s leader, Matthew Marsit, is known as a conductor with a knack for programming. “My goal of this concert is to show the audience the variety of styles available for the wind ensemble. Each of these composers has a very unique voice and utilizes the ‘instrument’ of wind ensemble in a unique way.”
About Ivy Walz
Ivy Walz, mezzo soprano is a performer of dramatic intrigue and musical sophistication. She has performed on the opera stage with nationally acclaimed opera houses such as Cincinnati Opera, Syracuse Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, the Spoleto Festival and Tri-Cities Opera. A proponent of modern opera, she most recently performed the role of Helena in “Il Sogno” with the newly formed Opera Ithaca. A lauded oratorio artist, she has performed many solo roles with professional orchestras. Recent highlights include Handel’s “Messiah” with Symphoria, Mozart’s Requiem with Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. This season she will perform the mezzo role in Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes as well as Berio’s Folk Songs with the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra. She has been hailed for her creative recital programming of contemporary American Art Song. Recent performances include “I Dream a World”, a recital of African American Art Song, and “Shades of Love; A Modern Woman’s Journey of Life and Love.” Miss Walz is thrilled to join the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble this season where she will sing Opus 91 and selected Lieder by Johannes Brahms.
Ivy Walz, DMA is a dedicated teaching artist, and is on the voice faculty at Ithaca College, School of Music. Here she teaches a vibrant studio of voice, musical theater and jazz majors. She has taught at the Summer Music Academy at Ithaca College since summer 2012. In the summer of 2015 she taught voice lessons and a master class at the College Audition Advantage at Music Mountain. She has given master classes at USC in Columbia, SC, and at regional high school venues.
She holds the Bachelor and Master of Music from Ithaca College, and the Doctor of Music Arts from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.
About Matthew Marsit
An active conductor and clarinetist, Matthew M. Marsit has led ensembles and performed as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician throughout the U.S. He is currently on the artistic staff of the Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts at Dartmouth College as Director of Bands. Marsit has previously held conducting positions with the Charles River Wind Ensemble, Cornell University, Drexel University, the Chestnut Hill Orchestra, the Bucks County Youth Ensembles, and the Performing Arts Institute of Wyoming Seminary. Marsit has served as a guest conductor, clinician and consultant for a great number of schools, institutions and festivals throughout the eastern United States, and has produced a recording project for the United States Military Academy West Point Band. He was recently named Artist in Residence in Winds and Music Director of the Williams College Wind Ensemble.