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Works by women composers performed March 3

The Faculty Performance Series at Appalachian State University highlights music of women composers March 3 in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. The performance begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free.

Organist Joby Bell opens the program with “Tambourines!” from Libby Larsen’s “Aspects of Joy,” one of three compositions by Larsen to be featured during the performance.

Larsen is one of America’s most performed living composers. She has created a catalogue of more than 400 works spanning virtually every genre, from intimate vocal and chamber music to massive orchestral works and more than 12 operas.

Pianist Hiu-Wah Ah will perform Clara Schumann’s “Romance, Op. 11 No. 1.” Schumann was a noted piano soloist as well as composer, writing more than 60 compositions for piano and orchestra and solo piano.

Pianists Christina Hayes and vocalist Reeves Shulstad will perform Amy Cheney Beach’s “Summer Dreams, Op. 47” for piano duet. A New Hampshire native, Beach put her performing career on hold at her physician husband’s wishes and devoted herself to composing, and performing a recital only once a year. Following her husband’s death, she toured Europe for three years performing her own works.

Clarinetist Doug Miller, violist Eric Koontz and pianist Bair Shagdaron will perform two selections from Libby Larsen’s “Black Birds Red Hills.” They are “Pedernal Hills and “A Black Bird with Snow-Covered Hills.” The compositions were inspired by Georgia O’Keefe paintings.

Horn player Karen L. Robertson and pianist Joby Bell will perform “Wolf Night” from Andrea Clearfield’s “Songs of the Wolf.” Clearfield is an award-winning American composer of music for orchestra, chorus, soloists, chamber ensembles, dance and multi-media collaborations. She has composed more than 90 works for voices and orchestra.

The Appalachian Treble Choir will close the program with three selections for voice and piano by Larsen. Titled “Today, This Spring,” the three-song set was commissioned by David L. Cooper and Thomas Scott in remembrance of Cooper’s wife and Scott’s sister, both of whom succumbed to breast cancer. The songs are “Today, This Spring, “She Piped for Us,” based on a sermon from the memorial service, and “If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking.”

The choir is directed by Priscilla Porterfield.

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