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Harper sabbatical includes new musical work
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Harper sabbatical includes new musical work

Associate Professor Joe Dan Harper

A new musical work will be the high point of School of Music Associate Professor Joe Dan Harper’s sabbatical, which will revolve around a variety of professional development activities including practice, coaching with experts in the field, repertoire development, auditions, performing, and study of the French language, vocal pedagogy and lyric diction for singers.

Mr. Harper will also be working with award-winning composer Kurt Rohde on the creation of a contemporary musical re-imagining of Miquel de Cervantes’ “El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha” (Don Quixote). Mr. Rohde has composed an evening-length mono-dramatic setting based upon the work, which will be premiered on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. in Rosch Recital Hall.

Performers will include Andrew Seigel (clarinet), Dr. Wildy Zumwalt (saxophone), Dr. Roderick MacDonald (trumpet), SUNY Distinguished Professor Kay Stonefelt (percussion), Dr. Anne Kissel (piano) David Rose (viola), Kieran Hanlon (doublé bass) and tenor Harper.

Harper noted, “My first introduction to this novel came while preparing to sing the songs by Maurice Ravel. For over 20 years now I’ve been captivated by this story and have imagined it as the inspiration for a new dramatic musical work. My motivation to move forward with this project now comes from the collaboration I began about a year ago with composer Kurt Rohde. While performing the premier of his operatic setting of “Death With Interruptions” last spring, it became clear that his was the compositional voice for this project.”

The project has also been awarded a Carnahan Jackson Humanities Fund grant through the Fredonia College Foundation. Harper noted, “With great potential for cross-disciplinary collaboration, this project will add to the rich cultural life of the Fredonia community. It will highlight our outstanding faculty, bringing new creative ideas and energy through the work itself as well as Kurt Rohde’s residency.”

Rohde will be in residence for several days prior to the performance, engaging with students, faculty and the community about his work as a performer, composer and collaborator.

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