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Performing arts legend Joseph Gifford to work with Fredonia students
Monday, October 19, 2015

Performing arts legend Joseph Gifford to work with Fredonia students

Joseph Gifford

Students enrolled in Fredonia’s performing arts programs will have an opportunity to learn from Joseph Gifford, a renowned teacher who has worked with conductors, singers, dancers, actors and instrumentalists for more than 50 years, during “Spontaneity of the Performing Arts,” a multi-disciplinary event to be held Dec. 6 to 10.

Mr. Gifford will be joined by David Rudge, director of orchestras, in working with experienced conductors in front of a 100-member symphony orchestra as well as a select chamber orchestra. Master classes for singers, instrumentalists and actors with Gifford will also be held along with a screening of a documentary film about his celebrated career.

Individual events include:

“Going into the Unknown,” a group master class for actors, musicians and dancers; Dec. 6, from 7 to 10 p.m., in Mason Hall Room 1080. Gifford will work with individuals from different disciplines. Admission is $10, payable to the Improv Collective through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center.

“Achieving Ease, Depth and Fullness in Performance,” a master class for actors; on Dec. 8, from 2 to 4:30 p.m., in Mason Hall Room 1075. Participants are to bring prepared memorized solo texts or dialogues. Admission is $10, payable to the Improv Collective, also through the Fredonia Ticket Office.

“Moving from the Known into the New,” on Dec. 7 and 9, from 1 to 2:50 p.m., at Mason Hall Room 1080; and Dec. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., in Room 1075. Experienced conductors will work with the College Symphony and with the Fredonia Chamber Orchestra. Admission is free to both sessions for SUNY students.

The 2013 documentary, “The Legacy of Joseph Gifford,” will be shown Dec. 9, 8 p.m., at Mason Hall Room 1080. Admission to the event is free.

Gifford began his performing career in New York City as a member of the dance company of Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman, considered two of the great pioneers of American modern dance. He joined the faculty of the School of Theatre Arts at Boston University and at Tanglewood, where he worked with singers and directed opera. Among his acting students at BU were Jason Alexander and Julian Moore.

For more than 20 years, Gifford served as a faculty member of the American Symphony Orchestra League’s workshops for conductors.

“Spontaneity in the Performing Arts” is sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Dance, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, Improv Collective and School of Music.

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