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Recital Ranges from Bach to Shaker Music

KEENE, N.H. 1/18/02 - Keene State College faculty members Gladys Johnsen, mezzo-soprano, and Beverly Caldon, piano and organ, will perform works by Bach, Schubert, Purcell, Fauré, Kantor, and Joel on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2:30 p.m. at the United Church of Christ in Keene.

KSC music faculty member Joseph Darby, viola, and student Chris Beam, bass, will be featured during the recital. The KSC Faculty Quartet - consisting of Johnsen, Joanne Mead, soprano, David Hill, tenor, and Paul Vincent, bass - will sing chorale, gospel, Shaker, and Hebrew songs.

Admission to the recital is free, but donations will be requested to the KSC 911 Scholarship Fund, established to assist Keene State College students who have been affected by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. For information, call 603-358-2177.

The recital will open with Johnsen singing Daniel Kantor’s “Ave Maria,” a simple restating of the ancient prayer, The Hail Mary. Later, the Keene State College Faculty Quartet will sing Jacob Arcadelt’s “Ave Maria,” arranged for a four-part chorus of mixed voices with organ accompaniment.

Two works by J.S. Bach’s will be on the program including “Cantata No. 22,” based on the gospel story of Jesus entering Jerusalem, and “Little Fugue in G minor” played by the UCC ‘s organist and music director, Beverly Caldon, who is also an organ instructor at Keene State. The UCC sanctuary organ, one of the largest in New Hampshire, is a Berkshire-Gilbert instrument with three manuals. There are 40 ranks of pipes, some from the 1860s.

Johnsen will sing Franz Schubert’s “Auf dem wasser zu singen” (A Song to be Sung on the Water), Henry Purcell’s “When I am Laid in Earth” from the opera “Dido and Aeneas,” and Billy Joel’s “Lullaby.” She also will perform two works by Gabriel Fauré: “En priére” (In Prayer) and “Aprés un reve” (After a Dream).

Johnsen will conclude the program with Antonin Dvorak’s “Goin’ Home,” followed by the KSC Faculty Quartet singing the Shaker tune “Bow Down Low,” and the Hebrew song “Kumah, echa.” Each member of the Quartet has a Keene State connection. Vincent is director of the Cohen Center for Holocaust Studies at Keene State. Hill is dean of Professional and Graduate Studies. Mead is an alumna of the KSC Music Department, and Johnsen is a full professor of music.

Johnsen, the alto soloist at the United Church of Christ, is founder and conductor of the Youth Chorus at Keene State College, a select group of young singers, who performed in December with the Boston Camerata. The Youth Chorus will perform its annual concert on Sunday, March 10, at 3 p.m. in Keene State’s Redfern Arts Center.

Johnsen says the Feb. 3 recital allows her to thank the college and the church, both of which have for many years been supportive of her singing career. The concert also will feature work she refined during her past year of study with Peter Hart of Sturbridge, Mass., and travel throughout Europe with two choral groups.

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