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Bethlehem, Pa., November 23, 2010—Moravian College student Robert C. Brown '11, Easton, Pa., will conduct an ensemble of students and alumni as they perform Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat" (The Soldier’s Tale) on Wednesday, December 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Peter Hall. Brown, a senior music education major and saxophonist, will make his conducting debut as a culmination of an independent study project he initiated under the guidance of Dr. Paula Ring Zerkle, director of choral music at Moravian College. The production consists of a septet, narrator, and ballet dancers telling Igor Stravinsky's Faustian tale of a soldier and his violin. It is open to the public and admission is free of charge.
Brown has been taking conducting lessons with Zerkle for the past few months. At the same time, he has acted as a music director, pulling together an ensemble and putting the members through rehearsals. "Robert has shown great initiative in putting this ambitious independent study project together," said Paula Zerkle. "He is following his passion— an example of what students can do within Moravian's strong personalized music curriculum."
"Stravinsky's ‘L'Histoire du Soldat’ is a challenging piece for a young conductor," Zerkle noted. "He has worked really hard and has come a long way. I'm expecting a stellar debut."
Dr. Larry Lipkis, composer-in-residence at Moravian College will serve as the narrator. Brown has enlisted the help of fellow students and even some alumni in putting together the ensemble and ballet group. The septet includes Elizabeth Brodt '12, clarinet; Veronica Nicklaus '11, bassoon; Anne Hoffman '12 trumpet; Caitlin Worrich '12, trombone; Cody Anne Lutz '11, violin; and alumni Laura Crouthamel '05, double bass, and Bob Stevens '03, percussion. The ballet dancers include Robert Hercik '10 as the Soldier; Shannon Murray '11 as the Devil; and Meredith Lobb '11 as the Princess. The ballet choreographer is Mary Anne Hoffman, artistic director of the Moravian College Dance Company, adjunct faculty at Moravian College.
Brown will appear along with Larry Lipkis to talk about his production on WDIY FM 88.1 Morning Classics program with Ellis Finger on Wednesday, November 24 at 10 a.m.
"It is a very challenging piece that is not performed very often," said Brown. "It is even more rare to see a performance with ballet dancers. The project has been a great experience that has really allowed me to explore an area of music for which I have a great interest. I am really looking forward to the performance and hope it will be rewarding for the performers and the audience alike.”
Peter Hall is located on the Hurd Campus of Moravian College near the corner of Main and Church Streets in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Kathi Roman at Katro@moravian.edu or 610 625-7880. The libretto for Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat" (The Soldier’s Tale) was written by C.F. Ramuz, and English translation was by Michael Flanders and Kitty Black.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America’s sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.