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Faculty, Students, to Perform Augusta Read Thomas' Music


JONESBORO – Performances of music by composer Augusta Read Thomas, featuring the Parker Quartet and faculty from the Department of Music, will be the final presentation in Arkansas State University's Lecture-Concert Series for 2015-16. 

Thomas will be present for the concert, which will be Friday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall of Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Dr.

Joining the Lecture-Concert Series as sponsors are the Department of Music, College of Fine Arts, the Student Composers, Inc., chapter, A-State Bands and the College of Sciences and Mathematics.

Students, faculty, staff and the community are welcome to attend the concert and the Parker Quartet's separate performance the previous evening, March 31.  Admission is free to both concerts.

Thomas was Mead Composer-in-Residence for Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1997 through 2006. In 2007, her Astral Canticle was one of the two finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Music.

Thomas, who also has served on the boards and advisory boards for several chamber music groups, is a professor at the University of Chicago.  Her music has been called striking in its beauty, elegance and power.

A-State music faculty and students will join with Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet in presenting a concert of her chamber and large ensemble music.  The program will include the Symphonic Winds directed by Dr. Sarah Labovitz, pianists Dr. Lauren Schack Clark and Dr. Daniel Tacke, clarinetist Ken Hatch, soprano Dr. Marika Kyriakos, and the A-State Choir under the direction of Dr. Dale Miller.

"It is always an amazing opportunity to work with the composer of pieces one performs," said Dr. Marika Kyriakos, chair of the Music Department.  "I am thrilled for our students as well as myself, as I will be performing one of Augusta Read Thomas' songs, 'Twilight Butterfly,' with Dan Tacke at the piano.  To comprehend the process and meaning behind a musical work is fascinating and makes it all the more meaningful."

Emphasizing the benefit to students, Dr. Dale Miller, director of choral activities, said, "A-State's Concert Choir students are fortunate to rehearse and perform the work of such a prominent living composer. Having Ms. Thomas with us to give insights into the performance of her music is invaluable."

Dr. Daniel Tacke, assistant professor of music, added, "We're thrilled to be able to host Parker Quartet and Augusta Read Thomas and are looking forward not only to some really wonderful performances, but also the experiences of working collaboratively in masterclasses.  For our students and the larger community alike, this will be a chance to hear, interact with, and learn from some truly remarkable and highly respected musicians."

Kyriakos also said, "The fact we can provide our students with these possibilities more than once in their residency at A-State is truly wonderful.  Students may not realize the magnitude of these rare occasions until much later, but they will at least gain the perspective of a reputable composer."

The Lecture-Concert Series serves Arkansas State and the surrounding communities by bringing notable guest speakers and performers of diverse backgrounds and wide appeal to the campus.

For more details about the series, interested individuals may visit the Lecture-concert Series website or contact series chair Dr. Tim Crist, tcrist@astate.edu, (870) 972‑2094.

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Augusta Read Thomas