February 14, 2008

'Stars of Altgeld' puts student musicians in spotlight

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Today Shryock Auditorium, tomorrow the world.

The winners of the annual student solo competition hosted by the School of Music at Southern Illinois University Carbondale highlight the Stars of Altgeld performance, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 in Shryock Auditorium. Stars of Altgeld – referring to Altgeld Hall, home of the School of Music – is part of the Southern Illinois Symphony Series.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover a special Stars of Altgeld performance at Shryock Auditorium beginning at 10 a.m. on Feb. 19. The 40-minute performance is especially for children ages 3 to 6. Young students from Parrish School in Carbondale, DeSoto Consolidated Elementary School, Giant City Consolidated School and the SIUC Child Development Laboratory will be in the audience. Klassics for Kids is a concert series to introduce very young listeners to classic music. The performances are a tradition at SIUC.

Details about each of the soloists follow:

Emily Fons, a graduate student from Milwaukee, studies voice with SIUC Professor Jeanine Wagner, interim director of the School of Music. Fons sings, "Non, piu mesta," an aria from "La Cenerentola," a Cinderella opera by Gioacchino Rossini. In the aria, the lead character, Angelina, forgives her family and urges them all to a celebration.

Paul Petrucelly, a graduate student from Seattle, studies clarinet with Professor Eric Mandat, distinguished scholar. Petrucelly solos with the Southern Illinois Symphony in a performance of 19th century Italian composer Luigi Bassi's "Concert Fantasy." The piece, which offers variations on a theme from Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Rigoletto," was written for clarinet and piano. This performance, however, features an arrangement for full orchestra by SIUC alumnus Sean Osborne.

Jered Montgomery, an undergraduate student from Mulkeytown, studies trumpet with Associate Professor Robert Allison and will perform a complete trumpet concerto by Franz Joseph Haydn. The work is described as a standard in trumpet repertoire, and was one of the first compositions to feature the trumpet as a virtuosic instrument.

The second half of the concert features the Fifth Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich. The work debuted in 1937, after Shostakovich endured severe criticism from Josef Stalin for his Fourth Symphony. The Fifth Symphony blends modern and traditional musical themes and highlights Shostakovich's Russian style. The symphony is in four movements, and highlights different sections of the orchestra with each one. Professor Edward Benyas conducts the orchestra.

The student soloists also help kick off the Music for Young Listeners – Klassics for Kids program for 2008 on Tuesday with a performance geared to children ages 3 to 6. The performance is at 10 a.m. in Shryock Auditorium. Angela Compton, music teacher at Parrish School, will bring 150 kindergarten students for the performance. Other classes of children are coming from DeSoto Elementary School, Giant City School and the Child Development Laboratory at SIUC. The concert is free and will last about 40 minutes.

Tickets are $19 for general admission, $6 for students. Tickets are available in advance at SIUC ticket offices at the SIU Arena or the SIUC Student Center. They are on sale at Shryock Auditorium beginning one hour before the performance. Tickets may be ordered from Ticketmaster at 866/46-8849 or online at www.ticketmaster.com/shryock.