The UTC Department of Music is offering jazz, chorale, opera and percussion performances.

UTC Jazz Band in concert April 8

The UTC Jazz Band, directed by Dr. Erika Shafer, will present a concert on Thursday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall of the UTC Fine Arts Center. There is no admission charge for this event.

The Jazz Band concert will feature music from the bebop ear including works by Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. Other works on the program will demonstrate a variety of jazz styles as performed by big band leaders such as Gordon Goodwin, Sammy Nestico, Bob Mintzer, Matt Harris, Oliver Nelson, Chick Corea, and Tom Kubis.

The UTC Jazz Band is an auditioned group open to any student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and other local universities as applicable. Through the medium of a jazz ensemble, students learn about the jazz genre and develop their ability to express themselves through this genre. Trumpet Ensemble is a chamber music group open to both music majors and non-music majors. The group’s focus is to master chamber music rehearsal and performance techniques, to gain performance experience, and to learn trumpet ensemble literature. Students also develop their trumpet playing skills and enjoy playing with a group comprised solely of their instrument.

For further information contact the UTC Music Dept. Office, 423-425-4601.

Chamber Singers and Chattanooga Singers to perform

The UTC Chamber Singers and Chattanooga Singers, both directed by Dr. Kevin Ford, will proudly present their spring concert on Friday April 9, 7:30 p.m., at 2nd Presbyterian Church (700 Pine Street, Chattanooga, TN). The concert is free of charge and open to the public.

The program will open with music from British, Renaissance, and Baroque composers Orlando Gibbons, William Byrd, John Blow, George Frederick Handel, and Henry Purcell. Also included in the program is “From an Unknown Past,” a set of seven short works by American composer Ned Rorem, and works by Maurice Duruflé. Soloists from both choirs include Alexandra Bryant, Varanda Bell, Taylor Brittingham, and Maria Shull. A few of the evening’s selections will be conducted by Justin Hipp, Graduate Assistant Conductor for the Chamber Singers, and Gerald Peel, Graduate Assistant Conductor for the Chattanooga Singers.

The UTC Chamber Singers is the most elite choir in the UTC Music Department. They are a small chorus of mixed voices that perform a variety of rigorous musical selections. Admission into this group is only available through audition. The Chattanooga Singers is a slightly larger auditioned group of mixed voices that has been around since 1969. They too perform a wide variety of music. Both groups have enjoyed performing locally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Kevin Ford, director both featured groups, is the director of Choral Activities at UTC. Dr. Ford taught High School Chorus, Band and Middle School Band in Rossville, Georgia. He was formerly Music Program Coordinator and Choral Director at Chattanooga State Technical Community College. Additionally, he was teacher of conducting and choral music education at the Crane School of Music at The State University of New York College at Potsdam. Dr. Ford also served on the faculty of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte as Director of Choral Activities and Coordinator of Vocal Music Education prior to his current position.

Opera Theater production Saturday, April 10

The UTC Opera Theater, directed by Ronald Ulen, will perform a wide variety of opera scenes and arias that will both fun and entertaining on Saturday, April 10. The performance will be in Roland Hayes Concert Hall in the UTC Fine Arts Center (corner of Palmetto and Vine) at 7:30 p.m.. It is a free concert and open to everyone.

The group will perform familiar selections from works such as Madame Butterfly, Aida, The Magic Flute, Sweeny Todd, Porgy and Bess, Don Carlos, The Medium, Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel, Spamelot, and The Tales of Hoffman. They will be semi-staged with basic costuming, and some will be done in only concert dress. There will be very minimal set pieces or furniture. This is truly a workshop-like performance, but it should prove to be very enjoyable.

The UTC Opera Theater is an auditioned group of highly talented students who perform a variety of scenes from multiple operas, sets of arias and ensembles, multiple one-act operas, and full-length masterworks. Recent productions have included Jonathan Bailey Holland’s Naomi in the Living Room and the zarzuela La Verbena de la Paloma in fall 2008, Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus in spring 2009, and Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge, Seymour Barab’s A Game of Chance, and Charlisle Floyd’s Slow Dusk as a series of three American operas in fall 2009. And of course their most recent opera production was W.A. Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, performed just a few short weeks ago.

Director, Ronald Ulen, has recently returned to the U.S. to take on his new responsibilities as Director of Opera and Professor of Voice at UTC after spending the past 20 years in Europe. Ulen is an active and versatile performer who feels equally at home on the opera, concert, or recital stage. He has performed over 85 roles in nearly 2000 performances. His career has taken him to opera stages and concert halls around the world, including those of Vienna, Rome, London, Bamberg, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, New York, Munich, Tokyo, Paris, and Berlin.

UTC Percussion Ensemble presents “Catch the Groove!”

The UTC Music Department presents: “Catch the Groove!” featuring the UTC Percussion Ensemble, Dr. Monte Coulter, Director, on Monday April 12, at 7:30 p.m., in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, located in the UTC Fine Arts Center (corner of Palmetto and Vine). The concert is free and open to the public, and it is guaranteed to have you tapping your feet.

Some of the newest and most interesting works for percussion will be featured, including Christopher Rouse’s “Ku Ka Illimoku.” It is described by the composer as a “propulsive war dance,” and was not written for a college percussion group. It was commissioned by the Syracuse Symphony Percussion, and the score was given to Dr. Coulter by Thomas Wilkins, past director of University Orchestras at UTC, and now the Music Director of the Hollywood Bowl.

“Yobel,” by Jesse Ayers, is the composer’s musical impression of trumpets, written entirely for mallet percussion. “Yobel” was the trumpet call in the Jewish calendar, which was used to signal the beginning of the Year of Jubilee.

“Blue Pineapple Key Sprints,” written by UTC percussionist Alex Ford, is a fast footrace in the bright key of D Major, which frames a chorale section in the distantly related key of E flat major.

“Normandy Beach,” by David Gillingham, is a stirring, programmatic work for mallets, drums, and pieces of iron, which evokes the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. It is one of the favorite pieces of this ensemble, and is often revisited.

“Sinfonia, by J. S. Bach, is scored by UTC music alumnus and Chattanooga Symphony member David Pedigo, who performed for years with this ensemble.

“Concerto for Drum Set and Percussion Ensemble,” by John Beck, was the first very successful work with the drum set as the featured instrument within the percussion ensemble. Performing the solo part in his last semester as a member of the UTC Percussion Ensemble, is Music Education senior Drew McCallie.

The UTC Percussion Ensemble this year features thirteen talented students. Generally, the majority of players in this group are pursuing degrees in Music or Music Education. However, there is often room for talented non-majors, with the director’s permission. This year, eight music majors and five non-music majors make up this brilliant group.

Director of the percussion ensemble, Dr. Monte Coulter, is also the director of percussion studies and coordinator of the graduate music program at UTC. Coulter is currently Principal Percussionist/ Assistant Timpanist for the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, and he has performed as a principal player in three of the four largest professional orchestras in Tennessee, as well as with the touring companies of Man of La Mancha (with Robert Goulet), Rich Little, The Electric Light Orchestra, The Moody Blues, Bernadette Peters, Shari Lewis, Al Jarreau, Art Garfunkel, Randy Newman, and others.

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