Premiere of “This Thread” by J. Mark Scearce, & Other People, Organizations, & CDs in the News (Posted 9/6/04)
 
Composer J. Mark Scearce’s “This Thread,” a setting of Nobel-laureate and poet Toni Morrison’s “The Dead of September 11,” will be premiered by the Nashville Chamber Orchestra on September 10 and 11, 2004, during concerts in Franklin and Nashville, TN. Scearce, newly-appointed Director of the Music Department at NC State, wrote “This Thread” in response to the tragedies of September 11. He says he read the poem “In a special 9/11 issue published by Vanity Fair in November 2001” and that its “…even-keeled… level-headedness” caused him to seek the “rights to it before [he] ever considered the magnitude of what it meant to approach the hallowed gates of a Nobel prize-winner….” After hearing two other compositions Scearce wrote for the NCO – “Anima Mundi” and “Endymion’s Sleep” – the approval came, and “The Thread,” scored for mezzo-soprano, solo violin, and a chamber orchestra of double winds is the result. The composer says that “The final section employs the 5-5-5-5 code of fallen firefighters on the same pitch as the fire bells of old,” and adds, “I hope the music, and these words of salvation and – written days after the event – triage… will help to comfort and to calm…, “to assuage as a soothing balm, to heal our wounds in perhaps the only way they can be – through music.” For more information, visit http://www.nco.org/99season.html [inactive 10/05] or call 615/256-6546.
 
According to a 8/29/04 article in The Times-Picayune , Gerhardt Zimmermann, Conductor Laureate of the NC Symphony, is one of seven finalists for the position of Music Director of the LA (Louisiana) Philharmonic, based in Baton Rouge. You can read the full story… [inactive 7/05]. Among the other candidates are Edwin Outwater, who has appeared with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and who guest conducts the NCS in October, and Emil de Cou, who will appear with the National Symphony Orchestra during that orchestra’s NC residency next spring.
 
In our previous news column, we noted that the Durham-based Vocal Arts Ensemble has been selected to perform at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), in Los Angeles, scheduled for February 2-5. CVNC has learned that the ACDA is the main choral organization in the US, so this is an important step in the VAE’s efforts to expand knowledge of its work here. The VAE will perform twice, during the convention – in a Los Angeles church and in Disney Hall. For more information on the ACDA and its annual meeting, see http://acdaonline.org/conventions/national.shtml [inactive 11/05].
 
ECU pianist Henry Doskey continues to record the music of William Gillock – Volume 5 in the ongoing series will be released soon, according to a recent announcement. Doskey’s new CD of Book I of Debussy’s Preludes and music by Satie is available from Green Mill Recordings (http://www.greenmillrecordings.com/).
 
A recording of William Bolcom’s Inventing Flight is featured on a CD released by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Neil Gittleman. The Bolcom score was jointly commissioned by the Dayton PO and the NCS, and the Tar Heel premiere performances were given by the NCS under the leadership of William Henry Curry. You can read CVNC ‘s review of one of the NCS performances.. For more information on the new CD, see “DPO Merchandise” at http://www.daytonphilharmonic.com/ .
 
News items compiled from various sources & annotated by John W. Lambert (9/6/04)

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In the news: A guest editorial from San Francisco Classical Voice Senior Editor Robert Commanday* & a discussion of dance criticism by Maisonneuve Magazine contributor Kena Herod**; plus Conductors, Composers, Deans, Teachers, other Artists and Performing Organizations (including the National Symphony Orchestra – coming to NC in 2005), & Grants in the News; & Curry Named Resident Conductor of NCS
 
*/**From 8/16/04 – 9/16/04, CVNC was pleased to reprint two recent articles that we felt might strike responsive chords among our readers. The first, “The Dog Days Are Here, Maybe,” by the Senior Editor of San Francisco Classical Voice, America’s first major online classical review platform, was from SFCV ‘s issue of August 3, 2004. The second, “Footnotes: Why I Read (and Write) Dance Criticism,” by the Dance Critic of Maisonneuve Magazine (Montreal), was filed on August 10 and appeared in that journal’s online issue of August 15, 2004. Both remain available online at their publisher’s websites.