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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 2, 2005

Mezzo-Soprano Eberle Features Canadian Women Composers Dec. 12

Mezzo-soprano Katherine Eberle will present "Finding North: Noteworthy Canadian Women Composers," a University of Iowa faculty recital, at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 12 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Eberle will be assisted by pianist Luke Foster. Their performance will be free and open to the public.

The program for the recital will feature songs of Canadian Women Composers Melissa Hui, Cheryl Cooney, Euphrosyne Keefer, Ramona Luengen, Dace Aperans and Jean Coulthard.

Eberle commented on the program, "This art song recital offers a collection of 20th-century works for solo voice and piano set to English and French texts. These song texts and music will illuminate the theme 'Finding North'."

During the fall, Eberle held an appointment at the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies that allowed her to pursue research on Canadian women composers. Her goals were to write an article on the topic, prepare this music for performances here and in Canada, and commission several new works. In March and April she will perform the songs at the Toronto Heliconian Club Music Series and at the Trinity Music Series in Montreal. She is currently commissioning additional works for future concerts.

A long time advocate of music by women composers, Eberle chose this project to raise Americans' awareness of songs by Canadian composers. The art songs of Canadian women composers have been overlooked by many singers and voice teachers outside of Canada, largely because European art songs have dominated the repertoire requirements of educators for the past century. Eberle wants to promote the appreciation, performance and study of art songs by Canadian women composers as an alternative to standard vocal repertoire.

When Eberle began this project, she tried to locate Canadian women composers but found it was impossible in American libraries. She said: "Only Canadian folk songs exist in our university libraries. This is due in part because Canadian women did not begin to write significant amounts of classical repertoire until after World War II.

"To further complicate things, at present no contemporary Canadian women composers have come to the forefront of world acclaim hence there has been no reason to fill the void in U.S. libraries. Further, Canadian publishers are little known outside of Canada.

"In my search I have found 116 pieces for the mezzo-soprano or contralto voice type alone, 43 of which are song cycles, averaging about five songs each. There are countless songs for other voice types as well."

Eberle goes on to say, "Even though these songs were all written after 1950, you will find that I have included repertoire that is beautiful and interesting, and that anyone could appreciate. These composers have also used renowned poetry by Longfellow, Dickinson, and include the famous French poets Appollinaire, Hugo and Baudelaire, and others."

Eberle has sung more than 125 concerts in the past 10 years at international and regional venues, including her 1994 New York debut at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. She was an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency doing solo concert tours in South America and Korea in 1995-97. Her recording From a Woman's Perspective is available through Albany Records on the Vienna Modern Masters label. In 2005, Eberle performed in Moscow, Russia, and studied in Pau, France.

Eberle earned degrees from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Michigan. She specializes in repertoire of women composers and operatic monodramas, and she has published articles on video-conferencing which she uses in her teaching at the UI.

In demand as a vocal competition judge, she was state president of the National Association of Teachers of Singing for three years and has adjudicated for numerous competitions. She has taught at Interlochen Summer Music Camp and the Summer Vocology Institute in Denver, and has given multiple master classes. She gave a paper at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Vancouver, Canada.

Eberle joined the faculty of the UI in 1990. For more information, visit her Web page at

A native of Traer, Foster completed his undergraduate work in piano at Iowa State University, where he won the University Concerto Competition in 1999 and 2001. He was named the outstanding senior graduate for the Department of Music in 2002.

Since enrolling at the UI College of Dentistry, Foster has studied accompanying with Prof. Shari Rhoads. He is active as a collaborative accompanist each semester, typically supporting an average of 15 musicians and regularly appearing as soloist. He also does free-lance accompaniment as an organist at an Iowa Methodist church. He will represent the UI at Queen Mary Hospital in London as a dental exchange practicum student in the spring of 2006. Following his graduation in June, Foster will begin his own dental practice in the Minneapolis area.

The Obermann Center for Advanced Studies at the UI encourages scholarly interaction to explore broad frontiers of knowledge and investigate complex ideas and problems. Obermann Scholars have published numerous scholarly books and articles and have won millions of dollars in competitive external research funding for projects started at the Center.

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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