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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 13, 2004

Camerata Presents Concert Of Music By Jewish Composers Oct. 30

The University of Iowa Camerata, a mixed choir under the direction of Timothy J. Dickey, will present a free concert featuring music by Jewish composers from the Baroque to the 20th century at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The program will be in four distinct sets. The first will feature two works by Salomone Rossi, an Italian composer who worked with the early 17th-century court of the Gonzaga family in Mantua. Rossi is known in music history as the composer of the earliest surviving choral polyphony for Synagogue worship. The works on the program are settings of Hebrew texts, "Hallelujah, Halleli nafshi" (Psalm 146) and "Elohim hashivenu" from the morning office.

The second set, conducted by UI graduate student Brian Bailey, will feature two works by Felix Mendelssohn. One of the most distinguished intellectual families in Berlin, the Mendelssohns converted from Judaism to Christianity in 1809. Felix, who was a child at the time of the conversion, composed many works on sacred Christian subjects. Included for the Camerata concert will be "Be not afraid" from the sacred oratorio "Elijah" and "Lerchengesang" (Song of the lark). UI student Neil Bubke will be the accompanist.

The third set represents a departure from the theme, with two sacred choral works by the Russian-American composer Igor Stravinsky: "Pater Noster" and "Ave Maria." Stravinsky, who grew up in the Russian Orthodox church, composed both motets first in Church Slavonic, then revised them into Latin versions.

The final set touches upon one of the richest veins in American music history, music written for the stage by Jewish composers. The three pieces on this final set will be "The best of all possible worlds" from "Candide" by Leonard Bernstein; the well-known "September Song" from "Knickerbocker Holiday" by Kurt Weill; and "The promise of living" from the "Tender Land" by Aaron Copland. Bailey and Katherine Weigandt will be the accompanists.

Dickey commented on the final set of the concert, "These three selections illustrate some of the fascinating myriad of musical styles which feed this vein: from American jazz and 'Tin Pan Alley' revues to the attempts of Copland and others to create a distinctly American sound."

An ensemble of the UI School of Music, Camerata is open to both students and members of the local community. The group has a long tradition of exploring unusual areas of choral repertoire.

Dickey joined the UI faculty in 2003 as assistant director of choral activities in the School of Music, directing Camerata, teaching the history of choral literature and advising doctoral students. He did his doctoral work in musicology at Duke University, received master's degrees in choral conducting from the University of Connecticut and the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Mass. He also has attended the Royal School of Church Music at Sarum College in Salisbury, England.

Before coming to the UI, Dickey worked with the choral program directed the Collegium Musicum at Duke University and has served as associate conductor at the University of Connecticut. He also founded and directed choral ensembles at Amherst College and Duke University. His dissertation research in Siena and Florence, Italy, was supported by an Advanced International Travel Fellowship from Duke and a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from Duke's Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

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

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