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Release: Feb. 2, 2001

UI faculty performers will present an unfamiliar repertoire for voice and organ Feb. 14

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Soprano Susan Sondrol Jones and organist Delbert Disselhorst will perform a recital of songs by composers known better for their organ works than their vocal compositions at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14, in Clapp Recital Hall on the University of Iowa campus. Their UI School of Music faculty recital will be free and open to the public.

Jones said she picked her program because performing "with the glorious Casavant organ in its dramatic Clapp Recital Hall setting presents an opportunity to bring to the audience a sample of a musical genre not often showcased in the recital setting. Throughout history, music for organ and solo voice has predominantly been associated with religious worship. However, many composers have written interesting voice and organ works that stand successfully as concert repertoire.

"Though the texts are primarily songs of praise and prayer, in a very real sense these songs represent an interesting and little explored body of solo vocal repertoire. The late 19th and the 20th centuries are particularly rich sources for this repertoire. The listener’s ear will enjoy a spectrum of styles, ranging from traditional harmonic works with lovely melodies to angular, very
current-sounding settings.

"As you will see, the works chosen for this program are those of composers well-known for organ composition, but hardly for solo vocal works. The program also includes some surprises from composers more often associated with opera or art song.

The Feb. 14 recital will open with a setting of Psalm 150 by Gerhard Krapf, who taught organ at the UI School of Music 1962-77. Krapf came to the UI in 1962 to found the organ department. During his tenure at the UI he built the department and oversaw the installation of the first organs at the UI School of Music. In recognition of his efforts, an organ performance hall in the Voxman Music Building has been named the Krapf Organ Studio.

Krapf left the UI in 1977 to start another organ department, at the University of Alberta (Canada) in Edmonton. He received the University of Alberta’s J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research in 1984, and retired from the university in 1987.

Other composers on the concert will be Johann Nepomuk David, Joseph Haas, Gabriel Faure, Lili Boulanger, Giacomo Puccini and Daniel Pinkham.

An alumna of the UI School of Music, Jones is an adjunct professor of voice and coordinator of the voice, opera and choral areas. She has had an extremely diverse professional career, having appeared in opera and oratorio throughout the Midwest, been a member of the renowned Dale Warland Singers and the Bach Society of Minnesota, and sung solo recitals with a variety of instrumental combinations.

Opera roles include Corisande in the Baroque opera "Amadis" by Jean-Baptiste Lully, Euridice in Offenbach’s fanciful operetta "Orpheus in the Underworld," roles in contemporary operas by Hans Werner Henze and Giancarlo Menotti, and traditional operatic characters including all three major female roles in Mozart’s "Marriage of Figaro": the Countess, Susanna and Cherubino.

A great deal of her career has focused on the teaching of singing, beginning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Music Clinic and extending to faculty appointments at UW Parkside and the MacPhail Center for the Arts at the University of Minnesota. At the MacPhail Center she served as chair of the voice department and initiated a series of Artist Master Classes that has served as the model for similar programs throughout the country. She has served two terms as North Central Governor and four years as Minnesota State Governor for the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Jones has held several administrative positions, including general manager of the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony and Executive Director of the Minnesota Chorale.

Disselhorst has been a member of the UI School of Music faculty since 1970. He holds both bachelors and masters degrees in music from the University of Illinois, where he graduated as a Bronze Tablet Scholar. As a recipient of a Fulbright grant in organ, he also studied at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik in Frankfurt, Germany. He earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan.

As a concert artist, Disselhorst has performed in the United States, Canada and Europe. He has appeared as a recitalist for several regional conventions and for the National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Houston, Texas, in 1989. He has recorded the Organ Books of Ned Rorem and "Prophesies" by Daniel Pinkham on the Arkay Label.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

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